Kayla shared a meal and a bottle of wine with Justin in her new townhouse.
"It's not getting any easier for [Sonny]. I may have lost Adrienne, but, in one horrible moment, he lost his mom and his husband. And, uh, this week has been especially hard," Justin reported with a sigh when asked. "I know -- yesterday would have been yours and Adrienne's one-year anniversary," Kayla acknowledged.
"You never have to hide how much you miss Adrienne [from me]. I miss her, too. She was more than just my sister-in-law; she was one of my best friends. And when I had to tell you that she had died...it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do," Kayla told Justin, shuddering at the memory of the conversation, which had taken place at the hospital six months earlier.
"Adrienne survived cancer, [so she's] gonna survive this accident, [too, right]?" Justin asked hopefully. "We did everything we could, [but] Adrienne's internal injuries were too severe," Kayla regretfully replied.
"I don't think I could have gotten through that day -- or all the days that followed -- without you," Justin admitted. "We sure tried to fight this, [though], didn't we?" Kayla recalled. "[But, eventually, it was] like we were dating without even knowing it," Justin agreed. "[And then, one day], everything changed for us," Kayla concluded, smiling at the memory of what had happened three months earlier.
"It's my final divorce papers," Kayla told Justin after a messenger delivered an envelope to the townhouse. "I haven't really spoken to Steve in a year, [and] he just signs his name, just like that?" Kayla continued, fighting back tears. "I guess it's over..." Kayla concluded with a sigh. "I'm sorry," Justin stressed before comforting Kayla with a hug -- which eventually led to a kiss.
"We'd both lost so much, and I honestly didn't think that I would ever be happy again...[but now] I am, and that's all because of you," Justin stressed. "I feel the same way," Kayla replied. "[And] if people don't like us [being] together, [then] too bad -- I don't give a damn," Justin declared before giving Kayla a passionate kiss.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Sonny ran into Evan, who was carrying a bag of takeout food. "I thought you said you were meeting your dad tonight," Evan began. "He had dinner plans...with his new girlfriend," Sonny explained with a hint of disapproval.
"Did you have dinner [yet]?" Evan wondered. "Not really," Sonny admitted. "I didn't eat yet, [either] -- I didn't want to be the guy sitting alone at a bar, just staring at his phone..." Evan revealed. "Better to be [that] guy at home, [so] nobody sees you," Sonny agreed. "Exactly, yeah -- [so] I thought I'd put my food on an actual plate and binge-watch a few episodes of Real Housewives, like a gentleman," Evan continued.
"That sounds really good to me..." Sonny wistfully declared. "Really? [Well], I mean, everything on the menu looked so delicious that I -- I basically ordered everything, [and it's] way more than I could eat on my own... Would you -- would you want to join me?" Evan hopefully suggested. "At your place?" Sonny asked awkwardly. "Or we could have a picnic right here in the square," Evan quickly replied, picking up on Sonny's discomfort. "Um...I mean, if you're willing to share your food with me..." Sonny hesitantly agreed.
"So, you've been [working as a nanny] for, like, a while [now]?" Sonny asked while sharing a container of food with Evan. "Ever since I moved here from the West Coast. [And] it's funny, [because] I didn't really plan on becoming a nanny -- it was, uh, something that just happened -- but it's turned out to be a really, really good gig, [and] I love kids," Evan replied.
"What brought you to Salem?" Sonny wondered. "I, uh...was in a relationship that fell apart...so I decided to make a change [by moving to a place] that was simple and quiet, without a lot of drama..." Evan explained. "Wow -- you really need to do your research [next time]," Sonny advised with a laugh. "Yeah, I'm starting to realize that," Evan agreed, also laughing.
"So, uh...how are you doing...with -- with everything?" Evan asked, getting serious again. "You mean the fact that my husband killed my mother?" Sonny replied. "Are you...angry at Will?" Evan continued. "Yeah... Yeah -- you know, I am. I'm, uh...I -- I just -- I'm trying to let it go, [but] I just don't -- don't know if -- if that's possible right now," Sonny admitted after some hesitation. "I'm not sure I could, either," Evan stressed. "It's just...it's so unbelievable to me that the man that I love, the father of my daughter -- that he took my mom away from me," Sonny summarized with a sigh.
"Have you talked to anyone -- [you know], like a professional?" Evan asked. "Yeah -- I mean, I've...I've, um...I've talked to my therapist, [and] I've even tried to work it out with Will...but the reality is that he destroyed our lives in every single way, [and] I don't know if I can ever get over that," Sonny replied, sighing again.
"I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to upset you..." Evan stressed when Sonny didn't say anything else right away. "You didn't. [Actually], I really appreciate that you just, like, listened to me ramble on and on like that; it felt good, [and] it's amazing to talk to somebody who doesn't have skin in the game, [so]...thank you for listening," Sonny replied. "Anytime. My sympathetic ears are always available," Evan assured Sonny before starting to walk away, ready to head home. "I'll give you a call about, um, babysitting Ari," Sonny called out, stopping Evan.
"Oh, great... Um, you know, I don't have many friends in this sleepy little drama-free town -- would, uh...would you maybe want to grab a coffee sometime, or a drink at the Spot?" Evan hopefully replied, and Sonny agreed.
At Statesville, Will received a visit from Kate. "I hope you're here to tell me [goodbye before you finally] take your trip to Europe," Will began after giving Kate a hug. "And leave you here?" Kate replied with a dismissive scoff. "After you survived getting shot by Vivian, you said you were gonna take some time off [to] see the world [and] see your kids..." Will recalled. "I saw your dad [and] Sami when they came in for [your] trial [and] Adrienne's funeral," Kate reminded Will. "That's not really the same thing," Will countered.
"My point is [that] I don't want you to put your life on hold because of me. I mean, trust me -- I'm not...I'm not going anywhere," Will continued. "I know -- [and] that's the point [I'm making]. You're stuck here, all alone --" Kate began to respond. "I'm not alone -- I...I mean, I get to see my daughter," Will clarified. "Yes -- and Sonny. I know," Kate agreed. "Well...no, Sonny doesn't, um, really come to visit anymore," Will admitted. "Why?" Kate asked. "It wasn't his choice," Will replied with a shrug while thinking about a conversation with Sonny that had occurred two months earlier.
"Check out what Ari made for you," Sonny began, passing Will a painting. "It's beautiful... Um, tell her it'll -- it'll really brighten up my cell -- I mean, tell her [it's] my 'room'... You know what? Just -- actually, just tell her that I...I love it," Will stammered. "Sure," Sonny agreed. "Um...you know what? You -- you -- actually, you didn't actually have to...come here..." Will continued. "Well, I did promise Ari that I would hand-deliver her artwork to you..." Sonny replied. "Yes, and I know you wouldn't let our -- our little girl down...but, um, you know, from now on, you can just...mail it...or, you know, give it to Gabi..." Will maintained.
"What do you mean?" Sonny wondered. "I mean...I don't want you coming to visit me anymore," Will clarified. "Why's that?" Sonny asked. "Because I know it's killing you to see me," Will replied. "That's not true --" Sonny began to argue. "Yes, it is -- I know 'cause you're avoiding eye contact," Will countered. "I'm not --" Sonny tried to insist. "Yes, you are -- you were just doing it [again] right now. [And] I don't blame you; if it were me, I -- I wouldn't want to see me, either -- the man who killed my mom..." Will countered. "Don't say that --" Sonny began to protest. "Well, it's the truth," Will regretfully acknowledged.
"Look at me and tell me that -- that part of you doesn't hate me for what I did," Will challenged Sonny.
"You sent him away," Kate summarized. "I had to," Will insisted. "It was an accident. You didn't mean to kill Adrienne," Kate stressed. "That doesn't matter. Adrienne is dead [regardless], and I'm the reason why," Will countered. "[But] you still love Sonny, right?" Kate asked. "Yes, I do -- of course I do -- [and] I'll never stop...[but] I took something incredibly precious from him," Will replied. "By accident," Kate reiterated. "An accident that I will live with for the rest of my life," Will concluded with a sigh.
"I understand living with regret, but you're not going to be in this hellhole for the rest of your life. You can't just hide away from the world," Kate argued. "Where am I supposed to go?" Will countered. "[All] I know is that you don't belong here, because you're a good person -- you're not a killer; you're not like your freakin' crazy roommate Ben, who murdered his sister --" Kate reasoned. "Actually, he swears that he didn't do that," Will revealed. "[And]...what, do you believe that?" Kate asked. "I don't know...but I do know that I'm not innocent. I ended Adrienne's life...and now mine is over," Will replied, sighing again.
"I know that it feels like there's nothing left in life for you, but you have a daughter to look after, [and] you have to reach out to Sonny --" Kate began to advise. "And say...what?" Will wondered. "That you love him, [and] you believe in your marriage --" Kate suggested. "Is that gonna bring his mother back? No! Is that gonna -- is that gonna make him not hate me? No!" Will argued. "He doesn't 'hate' you --" Kate tried to assure Will. "He should! [And] how am I supposed to look him or his family in the eyes ever again, when I put Adrienne in the ground?" Will countered.
"Eric Brady was responsible for Daniel's death, [and] Maggie forgave him, [and] Nicole forgave him. Adrienne's family is going to forgive you," Kate insisted. "And what if I can't forgive myself?" Will wondered. "Then I'm gonna help you, because I am not going to give up on you, and I am not going to let you give up on yourself. I love you so much..." Kate stressed before offering a hug, which Will numbly accepted.
After Kate left, Will produced a photograph of Sonny and stared at it with deep regret -- and no hint of confidence that things would ever get better.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail found Chad in the study, staring at a tablet computer expectantly. "Have you heard from your father yet?" Abigail asked. "No -- and I doubt I'm going to, [because] he doesn't respond well to demands...which is why [your] ultimatum wasn't a great idea," Chad replied -- just as the tablet computer chimed, announcing the arrival of a message. "You were saying?" Abigail teasingly countered, grinning triumphantly.
"Did he agree to a meeting?" Abigail asked. "Not exactly... 'Dear Abigail, how lovely to hear from you, but why are you poking your nose into your husband's affairs?'" Chad replied, stifling a laugh while reading the message. "How did he know it was me?" Abigail wondered, stunned. "It's Stefano DiMera. Do you have to ask?" Chad countered. Annoyed, Abigail snatched the tablet computer and started composing a response: "Yes, Stefano, this is Abigail. My husband and I are a team, and we make decisions together. So sorry you live in the past [and] don't have the courage to face your son..."
"You're not gonna send that message," Chad snapped at Abigail, who was saying the words while typing them. "The hell I'm not," Abigail dismissively countered, dodging Chad's attempt to seize the tablet computer.
"What are you two fighting about?" Jack asked curiously, joining Chad and Abigail in the study. "Um, we weren't... No, no -- we were just, um... Chad needed the computer, and I was, uh..." Abigail stammered. "Checking social media. We need to get another computer," Chad helpfully concluded. "I guess so," Jack agreed. "Yeah..." Abigail continued before quickly changing the subject, wondering where Jack was hiding Thomas and Charlotte. Jack explained that the kids were upstairs with the nanny, getting ready for bed. Chad immediately rushed off to say goodnight to the kids, leaving Abigail alone with Jack -- and, reluctantly, the tablet computer.
Jack told Abigail about Thomas and Charlotte's visit with Jennifer, whom the kids had dubbed "Sleeping Beauty" -- a nickname that had inspired an impromptu reading of the book. Abigail was pleased that Jennifer had gotten to enjoy some carefree time with the kids. "There's gonna be a lot of news for Mom to process in the next few days..." Abigail fretted, and Jack agreed.
"It's not all bad, [though -- I mean], you convinced me to get off my ass and take charge of the Spectator, [and you took] over for your mom [and] Will as my number-one reporter," Jack pointed out. "Yes... It's been a good challenge, [and] I love it... [And, you know], I'm actually, uh, kind of working on a story right now... [In fact], it's what Chad and I were arguing about when you walked in --" Abigail began to respond. "Oh -- so, it...it wasn't about sharing the computer?" Jack summarized, unsurprised. "No, no -- it's much bigger than that..." Abigail continued.
"What's going on?" Chad asked worriedly, rejoining Abigail and Jack in the study. "Well, uh, my ace reporter has a big story that she thinks I might be interested in, [and] she said it's the real reason you two were arguing," Jack explained. "Yeah... That's gonna have to, uh, wait, [because] Charlotte wants, uh, her mommy to tuck her in," Chad pointedly revealed, prompting Jack to rush off.
"You weren't honestly gonna tell your father about Stefano, were you?" Chad asked Abigail incredulously once the coast was clear. "[Stefano's] reemergence from whatever rock he's been hiding under is gonna be a huge story in this town --" Abigail began to reason. "It's not 'a story'; it's our lives!" Chad snapped. "I know, [and] I'm sorry -- I didn't mean it like that..." Abigail backpedaled. "Look, I know my father, [and] if we push him, he's gonna disappear again. [And] we need [his] help [to] get revenge on Gabi and take back the company," Chad stressed.
"I hate that we're working with him again!" Abigail grumbled. "So do I...[but] if we are gonna squash Gabi, [he's] what we need," Chad maintained. "Okay..." Abigail grudgingly conceded before promising to keep the matter under wraps for the time being -- and to stop sending antagonistic messages on Chad's behalf. "Yes, Stefano, this is your daughter-in-law Abigail. If you want to communicate with your son, I respectfully ask you to meet him face to face," Abigail said and typed simultaneously after deleting the previous message. "Much better," Chad declared, prompting Abigail to send the message.
A response arrived seconds later: "Thank you for your message, Abigail. I will agree to a face-to-face meeting on one condition."
At the Evans-Black townhouse, Gina silently fumed as John happily greeted Marlena with a hug. "I didn't expect to see you until Christmas!" John admitted. "Clearly..." Marlena curiously observed as Gina, still pretending to be Hope and still only half dressed, covered up with a jacket. "Please, um, let -- let me explain... I -- uh, we -- I mean, mostly me -- I had, uh...I mean, more than a few glasses of wine...and I, uh, was a little unsteady, [so] I dropped my -- my wine all over myself," Gina clarified. "Well, it happens to the best of us, doesn't it?" Marlena stiffly mused.
"Why are you home so early?" John wondered, oblivious to the tension. "It turns out that I'm able to do the rest of my work right here in Salem. There's a new director at the institute, and she was just fine with it," Marlena explained. "That's fantastic! I've finally got my wife again!" John raved. "I think it's time to celebrate..." John suggestively added before giving Marlena a passionate kiss, as if no one else was in the townhouse. Gina immediately turned away, finding John's display of affection for Marlena too painful to watch.
"It's so good to have you back!" Gina said to Marlena with a forced smile after John took the luggage to another room. "Thank you. [Of course], now that I'm back...[I think] you should start looking for another place to stay. [See], I've been gone for a while, [and] John and I would like to...reconnect -- alone," Marlena stiffly replied.
John soon returned, still oblivious to the tension. A short time later, Jack rang the doorbell. "[Your hourglass] brought me a lot of comfort, [so]...thank you for lending it to me. [You know], I like to think [that] the power of your love helped bring Jennifer back to me," Jack said to John and Marlena while returning the item, drawing a look of disgust from Gina that went unnoticed.
After Jack rushed off, John gave Marlena another passionate kiss. "We've [still] got company," Marlena pointed out after pulling away from John. "Don't worry about me," Gina insisted, forcing a smile again.
After John and Marlena left the living room together, Gina dialed the mystery man's cell phone number and told him, "Your Queen of the Night has returned to Salem. It is time that we discussed a new plan."
Sarah runs into trouble
In the women's prison recreation room, Eve grumbled to Justin on the phone about Jennifer's memory lapse. Eve argued that Jennifer was withholding the information on purpose. Justin disagreed. Furious, Eve slammed the phone down on the receiver. "I hate everybody!" Eve screamed. "Would you pipe down? I'm reading here!" Hattie complained from the corner. When Eve lashed out at Hattie, Hattie reminded Eve that Jennifer was to blame for her incarceration, not Hattie.
"It may turn out that I'm the best friend you got," Hattie said. Hattie suggested that Eve should write a tell-all book like her friend Bonnie. "I'd be your agent!" Hattie said. Eve scoffed at the idea. Eve reasoned aloud that she had nothing to tell because she was innocent. With a nod, Hattie suggested that Eve write a hypothetical book about the crime. "Your stupid idea just took a stupider idea for the worse," Eve muttered. Hattie reminded Eve that she was due for release and could help Eve on the outside. "Do you have any credits on your phone card?" Eve asked. Hattie handed her card to Eve.
In Gina's loft, Stefano looked at his phone and dialed Princess Gina's number. Gina had packed her bags and was exiting the penthouse when she answered the call. A dismayed Gina told Stefano that John and Marlena had picked up with one another as if no time had passed. "All of the hard work that I have done to drive a wedge between them, it seems to have been for naught," Gina complained. As Gina added that Marlena had thrown her out of the penthouse, Marlena entered the living room.
"Are you talking about me?" Marlena asked. Gina switched into her "Hope" voice and pretended to be talking to Doug about moving in. "Hope" lied and said that Doug and Julie were ecstatic that she was moving back into the Horton house. Marlena asked about "Hope's" house. With a smile, "Hope" thanked Marlena.
"You've been back less than 24 hours, and you have all the answers. How did we ever get by without you all this time?" "Hope" said as she barely concealed her sarcasm. John entered the living room as Marlena called out "Hope" on her tone. With a smile, "Hope" informed John that Marlena had asked her to leave.
"Now that I've slept on it, and if it's okay with Doc, I think you should stay," John said. "What?" Marlena asked with surprise. John took Marlena aside to plead his case that they could find time to be alone without kicking Hope out of the house. "After all, we do have a bedroom door that locks, right?" John said with an eyebrow waggle. Reluctantly, Marlena agreed to let Hope stay a little longer.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't realize that this would be such an imposition, me being here," "Hope" said. John offered to carry "Hope's" bags back to her room. "Hope" thanked Marlena for her friendship, and she announced that she would leave the lovers alone while she popped out to pick up a gift for the three of them. Once "Hope" was gone, Marlena grumbled, "Something all three of us can enjoy? Really?"
A restless Abigail woke Chad up in their bedroom to talk about Stefano. "[Stefano] said that he would meet you face to face on one condition. What's the condition?" Abigail asked. Chad told Abigail that Stefano would tell them the condition when he was ready. Abigail objected that Stefano was playing games with them. In an effort to soothe Abigail, Chad and Abigail made love. After, Abigail noted that Stefano made her anxious, and she apologized.
"I understand if you want to wait passively for him to respond, but what about me?" Abigail asked. Abigail pointed out that she was a reporter and had responsibilities. With a nod, Chad grabbed his laptop and checked for messages. Stefano messaged at that moment. Abigail chuckled. With a scowl, Chad noted that Stefano had challenged Chad to a chess match. Stefano agreed to meet with Chad if Chad won the match.
Chad and Abigail dressed and went downstairs to the living room. Chad set up his laptop next to the chess board. "Why the game?" Abigail asked. "He wants me to earn it," Chad suggested. Abigail wished Chad luck.
When Gina returned to her loft, Stefano was deep into his chess match with Chad. Gina wanted to work on her new portrait of Stefano, but she was annoyed when she noticed that Stefano was focused on his chess board. "Who are you playing with, anyway?" Gina asked.
In the DiMera living room, Abigail cautioned Chad against a move in the chess match. Chad thanked Abigail for her help. With a sigh, Chad asked Abigail how she felt about the prospect of Stefano returning to the house, the company, and the family. Abigail said she wanted to focus on the chess match for the moment. The phone rang with a collect call from Statesville prison. Abigail accepted the charges under the assumption that the caller was Will.
"This is Eve Donovan. You and I need to talk," Eve said. After the call, Abigail told Chad that Eve wanted to meet with her. "Why would I want to meet the woman who put my mom in a coma?" Abigail wondered aloud. Abigail added that she was dying of curiosity. Chad offered to go with Abigail, but she urged him to finish his game with Stefano because it was more important.
When Abigail arrived at the prison, Eve smirked and said, "I knew you'd come. You are your mother's daughter, after all. Can't pass up a story."
At Gina's loft, she noted that it was obvious that Stefano was not ready to reveal himself to Chad just yet. "Does that include Marlena? Now that she had returned to Salem, your Queen of the Night," Gina said. Gina suggested that Stefano concoct a new plan. Gina warned Stefano that he did not need Chad or his reporter wife to interfere in their affairs. When Gina looked over at the chess game, she gasped.
In the DiMera living room, Chad celebrated his win over Stefano. "That's not like him to make such a silly mistake. I don't care. I'm not going to question it," Chad said. At the loft, Gina apologized to Stefano for distracting him from his game. "I never imagined that you would actually lose. What are you going to do now?" Gina asked.
At the penthouse, John chuckled as he thanked Marlena for the home-cooked meal. "I only made toast," Marlena said. "But it's perfect. Just like you," John countered. Marlena asked John about his relationship with Hope, and John stressed that he was only friends with her. "Do you really resent her staying here?" John asked. "She is a friend who has lots of places to stay while her house is being whatever it's being," Marlena commented.
When John noted that Hope had been there for him when Marlena had canceled their plans to meet, a startled Marlena countered that John had been the one to cancel the plans. "Never mind. The point is, Hope was just good company that wasn't ready to leave yet," John said. Marlena said it was disrespectful how Hope had complained about living with Doug and Julie after all Doug and Julie had done for Hope through the years.
"She's lucky to have them. We are all lucky to have them, and I just think that she is so selfish to bail on Doug and Julie now when they could probably use her help," Marlena complained. John asked Marlena why she was so worked up over Hope. "Maybe because when I came in here last night, unexpectedly, it looked to me like Hope was trying to seduce you," Marlena said. John dismissed the idea as ridiculous. John noted that neither Hope nor he had acted inappropriately in the prior two months.
"Even if Hope were interested in me, I have eyes for only one woman, and one woman only. And that is you," John said. Marlena announced that she needed to visit Will but that she would be back before dinner. After Marlena left, John raised a suspicious eyebrow.
From the Kiriakis living room, Ciara called Ben at the prison to inform him about the conversation she had overheard between Victor and Xander. "[Victor] said that he had hired Xander as CEO of Titan as a reward for doing him a huge favor," Ciara said. Ben and Ciara agreed that the favor could mean that Xander had murdered Jordan at Victor's behest. Ben warned Ciara to tread lightly with Xander because he was a killer. Ciara heard a noise in the foyer, and she hurriedly ended her call.
"Hello, Ciara! Who's on the phone?" Xander asked as he walked into the room. Ciara noted that she had been talking to a client. Suspicious, Xander noted that Ciara had behaved as if she did not want him to overhear her conversation. "You got me. This account belongs to another junior manager," Ciara confessed. Ciara said she had not wanted Xander to think she had overstepped her boundaries at Titan. Xander encouraged Ciara to continue to take risks and have initiative. With a nod, Xander said he was impressed with Ciara's work.
"Mickey!" Sarah said with exasperation as she entered the living room. Xander and Ciara chuckled as they saw the spit-up all over the front of Sarah's shirt. With a sigh, Sarah noted that she had made a mistake when she had decided to give Mickey her first solid foods the morning of her Christmas photoshoot. "Peas. Apparently, my child is not a fan," Sarah said. Xander offered to give the baby a bath so that Sarah could get cleaned up herself.
After Xander and Sarah went upstairs, Ciara grabbed the leather briefcase that Xander had left behind. Ciara searched the contents. When Ciara heard Xander and Sarah in the foyer, she closed the briefcase and hopped onto the couch. "I wish I could come with you, I'm just totally swamped at work," Xander told Sarah as they walked into the living room with Mickey. Ciara said she knew that Xander had been working overtime to secure a deal with Basic Black, and she offered to talk to Brady while Xander accompanied Sarah to the photoshoot.
"Weren't you just telling me about taking risks and initiative?" Ciara asked. Xander asked Sarah if she wanted company, and she eagerly accepted. With a broad grin, Xander thanked Ciara for the help.
After the photoshoot, Xander walked with Sarah and Mickey through the town square. Xander thanked Sarah for allowing him to be in a few of the photos. "We're family. In a crazy kind of way," Sarah said. Sarah added that she hated that she had lied about the paternity of her daughter, but she appreciated how loving Xander had been with Mickey. "Well, I do love her," Xander whispered. Xander noted that Mickey was like her mother.
"You think she looks like me? Because I think she has Eric's eyes and his nose," Sarah said as she beamed at her daughter. Xander's smile fell away. Sarah thanked Xander for getting Mickey to smile for the camera. "I'm just glad I could be of service," Xander said. With a grin, Sarah walked away with Mickey.
At Titan, Ciara rooted through Xander's desk for evidence to clear Ben. In a drawer, Ciara found Xander's silver briefcase. Ciara grabbed a letter opener and got to work on the lock of the briefcase. Xander walked in.
After Ben's phone call, a guard arrived to return Ben to his cell and drop Clyde off in the meeting room. Clyde asked the guard for a few moments alone with his son, and the guard obliged. "Thought you were in solitary?" Ben said. Clyde explained that he had been released for good behavior. "If you ask me, you did a public service, killing your sister," Clyde said. Clyde called Jordan a nutcase. Ben protested his innocence.
"So, if you're innocent, you best come up with some way to get yourself out of here," Clyde said. "I'm working on it," Ben muttered. Clyde asked Ben why he had not deployed his plan during his last two appeals. Ben said he had reason to believe that Victor had outsourced the hit on Jordan to Xander. Clyde excused himself and left.
When Clyde returned, Ben told his father that he did not want his father's help. "Well, I had a feeling you were gonna refuse my help, but Papa knows best, so let's just say you owe me one," Clyde said. "What the hell did you do?" Ben asked.
In the town square, Sarah noticed a woman drop her wallet, and she called out to her. Sarah parked the stroller, and she ran across the square to return the wallet to the woman. When Sarah turned back, the stroller was still there, but Mickey was gone.
Clyde sets a plan in motion to help Ben
Sarah frantically searched the town square, but Mackenzie was nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, at Statesville, Clyde bragged about having just done Ben a huge favor.
"You told me [that] you believe Victor Kiriakis had his nephew Xander kill your sister, [and] that you need leverage against him to get him to confess, [so] I just got you that leverage -- Xander's precious little baby girl," Clyde elaborated. "What the hell are you talking about?" Ben worriedly demanded to know. "Oh, man -- I thought it was so simple, even you'd understand..." Clyde coldly mused.
"I had a friend on the outside 'borrow' little Mickey," Clyde clarified with a shrug. "Are you out of your mind? You can't kidnap a little baby!" Ben protested, horrified. "Why not?" Clyde wondered. "Because it's an innocent child!" Ben snapped. "Well, no harm's gonna come to her -- [my friend will] give her back just as soon as Xander admits that he and Uncle Vic let you take the rap for Jordan's murder. [Look], you need a way out of here, [and this is it]," Clyde reasoned, shrugging again. "Dad, you can't do this! [I mean], what if something happens? What if Mickey gets hurt?" Ben argued.
"Son, I gotta go -- the warden wants to speak to me. I'll come back [later, and] we'll talk about it [some more], okay? [Oh] -- and, by the way...you're welcome," Clyde coolly replied while exiting the visitor's lounge.
At Titan, Xander studied a woman from behind for a few seconds then asked, "Ciara? What are you doing in my office?" Ciara, whose body was hiding Xander's briefcase from view, stayed rooted in place and rustled some documents while replying, "I was just leaving some papers for -- for you to look over..." Xander suspiciously challenged Ciara to turn around and hand over the documents.
Just then, Xander received a phone call from Sarah, who tearfully explained that Mackenzie had been abducted. After instructing Sarah to contact the police, Xander hung up then rushed off to the town square without giving Ciara another thought. Ciara breathed a sigh of relief then went right back to trying to break into Xander's briefcase -- but wasn't able to make much more progress before receiving a phone call from Ben, who revealed what Clyde had done. Ciara realized that was why Xander had told Sarah to contact the police during their phone conversation and had then rushed off in such a hurry.
"Ciara, I'm sorry --" Ben began to stress. "It's not your fault -- you can't help it that we're related to a bunch of idiot criminals," Ciara argued.
After wrapping up the phone conversation with Ben, Ciara stuffed Xander's briefcase in a purse then rushed off in search of more information about Mackenzie's abduction.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad composed a message on a tablet computer: "You've always been a man of your word, Father. I won [our chess match]. Now, where are we meeting?"
At the makeshift palace, Gina curiously wondered if the mystery man was actually planning to meet with Chad in the wake of the chess match's apparently unexpected outcome. "You never should have made that wager with Chadwick in the first place, Steffy! This meeting, face to face, poses an array of problems -- do you not see that? It could ruin all of our plans!" Gina fretted when the man didn't respond.
Just then, Hope's cell phone rang. "Hmm -- it is that Hernandez man... Oh, all right..." Gina grumbled before answering the call as Commissioner Brady -- and feigning concern when Rafe revealed what had happened to Mackenzie. "I am afraid we will have to continue this conversation later," Gina told the mystery man after ending the call. "And, Steffy...no peeking at the portrait while I am gone," Gina warned before reluctantly leaving.
At Statesville, Abigail impatiently demanded to know why Eve had requested a meeting. "Well, aren't you a ray of sunshine..." Eve sarcastically observed.
"I want you to listen very carefully -- I did not push your mother off that balcony; I was framed!" Eve stressed. "That was your big news?" Abigail asked incredulously. "Yes, it's my news -- [and] it's important news! I mean, God, I've been in this hellhole [all this time] for a crime that I didn't commit!" Eve emphatically replied, but Abigail remained skeptical.
"I was set up -- [you know], just like you set up Gabi Hernandez for Andre DiMera's murder! [I mean, granted], it was that so-called 'split personality' thing, [but still], you and Stefan DiMera framed Gabi, [and] you even lied on the stand [to make sure] she was wrongfully convicted -- just like I was -- and then, [to get revenge], she planted that evidence to make you look crazy, [so] you, of all people, [should] understand that things aren't always as they appear! You know what it feels like to be set up -- you know what it feels like to have no one believe you!" Eve pointed out.
Deciding to play along, Abigail asked for the identity of the person who had framed Eve. "I don't know who did it, [but] I swear to you, on everything that I hold dear -- I swear to you, on my daughter's grave -- [that] I didn't do it! [And] you know how much I love my daughter, [so you should know that] I would never swear on her memory if I weren't telling you the absolute truth here!" Eve stressed.
"[And] that means whoever really did push your mother off that balcony is still out there, scot-free, and they did their best to make it look like I did it...and I'm sure that they are aware that your mother is awake now, and [that] she will remember who did push her off of that balcony -- and if that's the case, your mother could be in very serious danger! [Now], you're an investigative reporter, [so] investigate -- [you know], find out who really pushed your mother off that balcony!" Eve continued. "I'll see what I can do," Abigail agreed after some thought, drawing a sigh of relief from Eve.
Sonny went to the DiMera mansion to meet up with Chad for a planned brunch outing. Chad, having forgotten about idea, apologetically asked Sonny for a rain check. "I'm...waiting on this, um...this important news about DiMera..." Chad explained while glancing back at the tablet computer. "Okay, well, say no more -- rain check [it is, then]," Sonny agreed before starting to leave. "Unless...[do] you want to stay here? I could have the chef make us something," Chad suggested, stopping Sonny, who happily accepted the offer.
"Who won?" Sonny asked curiously, eyeing the chess table. "I did," Chad proudly replied. "Who were you playing?" Sonny continued. "My father," Chad blurted out.
"He's here?" Sonny assumed. "No... [See], we're not...playing, actually... [Look], this is gonna sound crazy, but...uh...sometimes, I...I play against him in my mind, you know? It helps me to, uh -- yeah, I try to make the moves that he's gonna make, [and] it -- it helps me when there's, like, a tough business decision -- you know, to try to get inside of his head [and] think about what he'll do," Chad claimed. "Get inside Stefano's head -- that kind of sounds like a scary prospect," Sonny mused. "Yeah, tell me about it," Chad agreed.
"But I guess [that] 'playing' your dad makes you feel close to him... [I mean], I know you had a complicated relationship, [but] I'm sure you miss him," Sonny acknowledged. "Yeah, I do," Chad confirmed. "I have a lot more empathy for that now -- you know, knowing what it's like to lose a parent," Sonny admitted with a sigh.
"[Although]...a lot of the time, I feel like I -- I didn't lose my mom... I know that sounds weird, but it's just -- it just doesn't -- it doesn't feel real, you know? [I mean], my phone will ring, [and] my heart speeds up, [and] I'm like, 'This has to be her -- she's finally calling me to tell me where she's been all this time'... Like, I can't believe that she's actually gone...and that I'm never gonna see her again... I don't know if it's because she died suddenly, or [because], you know, I just can't accept it... Like -- like, why do you think I still -- like, why -- why doesn't it feel real?" Sonny continued, fighting back tears.
"I don't know -- [I mean], I think it's hard to lose someone when they're important to you, [and] it doesn't matter how they go," Chad reasoned with a shrug. "So...Stefano -- are you really convinced that he's out there?" Sonny eventually replied, ready to change the subject. "Yeah, I am," Chad confirmed. "So, you know...but you don't know, like, where he is, or when you're gonna see him again? That's gotta be very weird," Sonny mused. "You have no idea..." Chad stressed.
Later, while eating, Chad and Sonny discussed Jennifer's recovery and Eve's unexpected request for a meeting with Abigail. "Abby said that while she's at the prison, she's gonna visit Will," Chad eventually revealed. "Oh," Sonny replied. "You seen him lately?" Chad asked. "No -- I told you, he, um...he told me to stop coming a couple months ago," Sonny reminded Chad. "Yeah, [but] I just thought that maybe --" Chad began to argue. "What, [I'd] just show up at the prison, so I could just be sent away?" Sonny countered. "Are you sure you would be?" Chad wondered.
"He told me... [Look], he just doesn't want me to come visit, [okay]? He told me that -- period -- [and] there was no 'unless,' [or] 'maybe,' [or] 'let's give it some time [and then] we'll rethink it'... He was very clear, so I'm just respecting his wishes," Sonny stressed, getting a bit annoyed. "[But] Will loves you, and I'm sure he feels ashamed, and scared, and miserable... [For him] to push you away like that -- [well], I'm sure that's not what he wanted --" Chad tried to argue. "Well, that's what he said, Chad -- that is what he said! You think I'm a damn mind reader?" Sonny snapped.
Sonny apologized after calming down a bit. "You just don't understand how painful those visits were -- for the both of us. There -- there's so much anger and guilt in that room, and we're just pretending that everything's okay, and it's not. I think that's the hardest part," Sonny explained. "I'm sorry, [too] -- I just...I love you both, and I hate to see you both hurting," Chad stressed.
"Yeah, well, me lying to myself isn't gonna make it hurt any less. [And] I'm not gonna pretend that love transcends everything, because I've learned that it can't. Some things that happen are just too damaging," Sonny insisted. "Maybe, with time --" Chad tried to argue. "No, no, no -- all the time in the world is not going to lessen the pain of knowing that the worst loss I've ever experienced was caused by him!" Sonny bitterly stressed. "It wasn't intentional," Chad gently pointed out. "Yeah, but [that] doesn't matter, okay? Because my mom is gone, and that's never gonna change!" Sonny countered.
Sonny admitted, after again calming down a bit, that talking about the matter with Chad had helped -- just as talking about it with a new friend over dinner the previous night had helped.
"Did you go on a date?" Chad asked incredulously. "No, it wasn't a 'date'..." Sonny dismissively replied. "What was this friend's name?" Chad wondered, still suspicious. "Evan Frears -- you know, Rafe's new nanny," Sonny clarified. "Is he...?" Chad continued. "Gay? I -- I think so..." Sonny confirmed. "But I'm -- I'm still married, you know? So, I -- I'm not -- I don't know where things are between Will and me right now, [but] I can assure you, I am not looking for anything more than a friendship," Sonny assured Chad, who seemed to want that to be true -- but also seemed to doubt that it was.
At Statesville, Clyde rejoined Ben in the visitor's lounge. "You finally gonna say thank you?" Clyde began. "Look, I get that you wanted to do me a favor, and I appreciate that -- I really do -- but you need to call your guy on the outside and have him return Sarah's baby right now," Ben replied. "I can't do that, son -- not until Xander confesses [and] gets you out of this hellhole. There ain't no way I'm letting you fry --" Clyde insisted. "Dad, you're not getting it -- if somebody thinks that I had anything to do with that baby being kidnapped, there is no chance in hell that I'm gonna win that appeal!" Ben fretted.
"Don't you worry about it -- I got it covered. There ain't no way we're gonna get caught," Clyde assured Ben. "Caught doing what? What are you plotting now?" Will asked curiously, surprising Ben and Clyde.
"Well, well, well -- if it isn't Will Horton..." Clyde mused while approaching Will. "I thought you were, uh, in solitary, Clyde," Will admitted with a hint of discomfort. "As you can see, Will, I am out," Clyde summarized with a shrug. "Yes -- and already causing trouble..." Will observed.
"Uh, you -- you were saying something about not wanting to get caught?" Will continued. "Not that it's any of your business, but I was just trying to talk my son [into] joining me for a smoke -- no big deal," Clyde coolly claimed. "Right..." Will skeptically replied. "Are you sure you want to get mixed up with your dad again? You know he's garbage, right?" Will said to Ben. "Why, you little twerp..." Clyde snapped, getting right in Will's face. "If it wasn't for me, you'd still be stuck living with that wacko Susan Banks --" Clyde continued. "Watch it," Will warned. "You still have affection for her, do you? And you call me 'garbage'?" Clyde mused.
"Your real family never would have found you if I hadn't told Ben here you were still alive, and the only reason you got your memory back is 'cause I pointed you in the direction of Rolf's diary, so how 'bout you show me a little bit of gratitude, huh?" Clyde continued, poking Will's chest with a finger several times while speaking to punctuate the words. "Unfortunately, Clyde, that doesn't make up for the fact that you took a hit out on my husband," Will insisted, standing firm. "Oh? Well, at least I didn't kill the guy's mother," Clyde countered. "You son of a bitch!" Will snapped, glaring at Clyde.
"I'm just telling it like it is," Clyde reasoned with a shrug. "Back off, Dad -- that's enough," Ben demanded. "What are you taking his side for? He's got no right to talk trash about me -- not after he killed his own mother-in-law!" Clyde argued. "Bet that didn't sit too well with the hubby, huh? Guessing there haven't been too many conjugal visits?" Clyde said to Will tauntingly. "Shut up!" Will snapped, tense with rage.
"Don't you try me, boy --" Clyde began to warn, inching even closer to Will. "Back off, Dad!" Ben demanded again, getting between Clyde and Will.
"I do not have blinders on when it comes to my father. He's not gonna get me into any trouble. [Now], let's go back to our cell," Ben said to Will, who gave Clyde one more glare then started to leave the visitor's lounge, shoving past Clyde in the process. Unwilling to let that slide, Clyde grabbed Will's right arm and warned, "You've had it pretty cushy around here the last couple of months, but now that I'm out of the hole, let me remind you -- I can make life very uncomfortable for you here." Will pulled away and continued storming off -- but did so with a hint of uneasiness, as if aware of exactly what Clyde was suggesting with the threat.
Later, while waiting for Ben to return, Will angrily threw some of the things in their cell -- including the book that held a photograph of Sonny, which fell out when the book hit the floor. Will stared at the photograph with a sigh of regret and longing. Meanwhile, Sonny contacted Evan and smiled while explaining, "I was just wondering what you were doing tonight, [because] I wanted to take you up on your offer and grab that drink."
Abigail returned to the DiMera mansion and happily observed that Chad had won the chess match. "You don't have to look so surprised," Chad protested. "So, what did Stefano say?" Abigail asked. "Nothing -- I asked him about a time to meet, [and] he hasn't responded," Chad replied. "[It's] not like him to go back on his word, [so] do you think that maybe it's not him, after all?" Abigail suggested -- but before Chad could respond, the tablet computer chimed, announcing the arrival of a message. "His timing -- really, it's just..." Abigail mused with a shake of the head. "Tonight," Chad read aloud with a grin.
At the police station, Gina pretended to be Hope while talking to Rafe about Mackenzie's abduction. "I just feel so bad for [Sarah] -- I can't even imagine what she's going through... Then again, I don't have to tell you; [after all], you know what it's like to have a child kidnapped," Rafe said. "Ciara...being held...um, for ransom...by that dirty cop... Something I'll never forget," Gina hesitantly replied.
Just then, Ciara arrived. "What brings you by?" Gina asked after grudgingly hugging Ciara. "I was hoping that you and I could maybe grab some lunch together," Ciara claimed, knowing the offer would be refused. "I would love to, but I can't -- I'm working a case," Gina replied before proceeding to share all the details. "Whoever did this is a monster," Gina concluded. "I couldn't agree more," Ciara declared.
After Ciara left, Gina tried to leave, too, reasoning that Rafe had the investigation under control. "It's your cousin's baby -- I assumed you would want to stick around," Rafe protested, confused. "You assumed right," Gina grudgingly replied. Meanwhile, at Statesville, Ben tried to convince Clyde to return Mackenzie right away. "You're always too soft for your own good. [Look], the deed is done -- [and now] it is time to take the next step," Clyde said while producing a cell phone. Ben watched worriedly as Clyde started composing a text message to send to Xander, who was with Sarah at the Kiriakis mansion.
Xander tried to stop Sarah from feeling responsible for what had happened to Mackenzie. "We're going to find her...and when we do, I will kill the son of a bitch that took her," Xander assured Sarah with a scowl. Ciara soon entered the mansion and comforted Sarah with a hug. Meanwhile, Xander received a text message: "We have your kid. You'll get her back when you admit what you did."
Jennifer finds out about Adrienne's death
At the hospital, Kayla stopped Jack, who was en route to Jennifer's room, and asked, "Do you mind if I just talk to you for a second [first] -- about Justin and me?"
"You know, you were so focused on Jennifer [before that] I didn't want to bother you [with this], but now that she's better...I just wanted to check in and see how, uh, you're feeling about us being together -- [because, you know], Justin was Adrienne's husband, and I was Steve's wife --" Kayla continued. "My brother, Steve, as far as I'm concerned, is a hypocritical, no-good son of a bitch!" Jack spat, surprising Kayla.
"I didn't realize that you were so upset with him still," Kayla admitted. "Why wouldn't I be, after the ways he's judged me for years? Meanwhile, he's -- he's abandoned you and your kids again! [And then] his own sister dies, [and] he doesn't even show up at the funeral -- [just] sends a card... [That's] unforgivable!" Jack reasoned. "Steve has put his work before his family before, [but that] was beyond the pale, [and] I'm as shocked and disappointed [about it] as you are -- I mean, Adrienne adored him, [and] understood him, [and] listened to him, [and] supported him, [and] cut him slack when he messed up --" Kayla acknowledged.
"She was there for him -- always!" Jack summarized. "[And] I'm not perfect -- I know [that] I have made so many mistakes in our marriage, [too] -- but this...just, complete absence...[of his, even after Adrienne's death], was just the final straw for me," Kayla continued. "You had to send him the divorce papers," Jack agreed. "Yeah, [and] I just hoped [that] would rattle him enough to [make] him come back to me...but it didn't work; [I mean], I didn't hear from him for months [after sending them]. And then, just...one day, [they] show up with his signature on [them] -- not a call; nothing -- [and], just like that...thirty years, done," Kayla recalled.
"So much for Saint Patch, my moralizing big brother..." Jack bitterly mused as Kayla fought back tears. "But now you're with a good man -- [one] who treats you right --" Jack started to add. "Yeah, but he's not just any man, [so] I just need to know that your family is okay with that," Kayla stressed. "Did it take some getting used to? Yeah, it did. [But] when I see how happy you have made Justin, and I see [a] smile on his face again, and I see the hope in his heart, I know my sister [would] be thrilled [that] you found each other," Jack admitted. "What about you?" Kayla asked. "[Your happiness is] all that matters to me," Jack replied.
Relieved, Kayla thanked Jack with a hug and made it clear that Adrienne was missed daily. While on the subject, Jack reminded Kayla that Jennifer still had no idea that Adrienne was dead. "Am I doing the right thing -- [you know], keeping this from Jennifer for now?" Jack asked. "I think so -- I mean, we have so much to fill her in about [from] this last year, [and] we need to take it gradually," Kayla replied. "[Plus], it's just so much more complicated than [simply] telling her [that] my sister died -- [there's also the matter of] why, and how, and who's in federal prison right now for causing this to happen..." Jack pointed out.
Meanwhile, Jennifer awoke with a start after a nightmare about what had happened at the Bistro the previous year. "Should I get, uh, a nurse?" Justin, who had entered Jennifer's room seconds earlier, asked. "No -- I'm okay," Jennifer replied before proceeding to tell Justin about the nightmare, which had skipped from the moment that Jennifer had inserted Rolf's flash drive in a laptop at the Bistro to the moment when Jennifer had been in midair during the fall from the restaurant's balcony. "I wish that I could just sharpen the picture [of what happened between those two moments, but]...I just can't," Jennifer admitted with a sigh, knowing Justin needed answers.
"I didn't come here to press you on that -- I just came by to visit, [and to] tell you how happy I am to see you awake," Justin clarified. "I would have come by earlier, but --" Justin started to explain. "I know -- you have been really busy," Jennifer concluded for Justin. "Yeah -- everyone in Salem seems to need a lawyer these days..." Justin dryly summarized. "Well, hard work agrees with you -- you look great," Jennifer observed. "Thank you -- [actually], I've started working out, [and] I'm even running again," Justin revealed. "[Good, because] you need to stay in shape for your better half," Jennifer teasingly warned.
"Listen, I know that Adrienne is probably so crazy at the paper, [so] you just tell her [that] as soon as I am released from this place, I will be right there for her [again], and then the Four Musketeers -- we [can finally] celebrate our collective anniversaries..." Jennifer continued before realizing that Justin's expression had turned quite serious. "Are you okay?" Jennifer asked curiously. "I guess, uh...Jack didn't tell you..." Justin hesitantly replied. "Don't tell me that you and Adrienne split up again! You just got remarried last year!" Jennifer protested. "No, no, no -- it's nothing like that..." Justin insisted.
"Adrienne died," Justin revealed, horrifying Jennifer. "When?" Jennifer asked. "About six months ago," Justin replied. "Did her cancer come back?" Jennifer assumed. "No, no, no -- she was still in remission... What happened was...sudden..." Justin vaguely clarified. "What happened? How did Adrienne die?" Jennifer tearfully demanded to know.
"Will is responsible for Adrienne's death, and now he's in prison? My God, how is Sonny even handling that?" Jennifer asked incredulously after Justin apparently shared all the details. "[And] how are you even handling all of this?" Jennifer continued. "You know, all too well, what it's like to lose someone you love so deeply... I shut down, [and] I was in a really bad place for a long time... But, as time went by, uh...you know, something shifted, and I started letting people in -- well, one person in particular, and...and we've become...quite close..." Justin began to explain.
"You're seeing someone? Adrienne just died!" Jennifer incredulously protested after realizing the implication. "No, no, no -- honey, no, she didn't 'just' die --" Justin patiently began to reiterate. "Tell me who she is!" Jennifer demanded. "It's Kayla," Justin revealed -- just as Kayla and Jack entered Jennifer's room together.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Jennifer snapped at Jack after Justin explained what was being discussed. "It was such [a] tremendous loss... I -- I wanted to make sure you could handle it --" Jack began to respond. "How could you do this to Adrienne?" Jennifer snapped at Justin. "My God, that's your sister-in-law, your -- your best friend!" Jennifer snapped at Kayla. "I can understand [that you were] feeling grief [and were] attracted to each other, but did you have to get together in record time? What was it -- a couple days, a week...?" Jennifer snapped at Justin and Kayla.
"Jennifer, Adrienne...Adrienne has been gone for more than six months," Jack gently stressed. "I know how you feel -- I know what it feels like [to be] lost in time, [and] disoriented, [and] confused -- but she's gone... [For you], just yesterday, you and Adrienne were thick as thieves...but [for us], she's been dead for more than half a year," Jack continued as Jennifer sobbed uncontrollably. "We should go," Justin whispered to Kayla.
At the nurses' station, Justin advised Kayla not to take Jennifer's outburst personally. Meanwhile, Jennifer calmed down and confided in Jack about feeling ashamed of the outburst. "Adrienne is gone, and I didn't even get to say goodbye to her, [and I just] don't understand -- how can everything be so horribly different?" Jennifer fretted to Jack.
Eric entered the Brady Pub and greeted Roman then excitedly showed off a diamond ring. "I plan on proposing tonight," Eric revealed. "[Nicole's] gonna love it," Roman predicted.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah and Ciara watched curiously as Xander urgently composed a text message. "Who are you texting? Is it about our baby?" Sarah asked. "It's just [the] Titan security [team] -- they have one job right now, and that's to find our daughter, but...they still don't have any leads," Xander replied.
Meanwhile, at Statesville, Ben watched anxiously as Clyde silently read the text message that Xander had just sent. "He is just dying to find out who is [sending him messages]," Clyde summarized for Ben with a chuckle. "It's your old buddy Clyde Weston, X-man...not that you need to know that..." Clyde mused while composing a response.
As Sarah filled Maggie in on what had happened to Mackenzie, Ciara kept an eye on Xander, who remained glued to a cell phone. Sarah and Maggie soon decided to head over to the police station, but Xander declined to tag along, reasoning that someone needed to stay at the Kiriakis mansion to wait for a ransom call.
While waiting for Xander's next text message, Ben again tried to convince Clyde to return Mackenzie right away. When Clyde again refused, Ben snatched the cell phone and started searching the contact list for the person who was most likely to be helping with Mackenzie's abduction on the outside. While Clyde was attempting to steal the device back from Ben, a guard entered the visitor's lounge and demanded to know what was going on. "My son here has something that doesn't belong to him," Clyde explained. "You better give it up," the guard advised Ben, holding out a hand expectantly.
"This kind of contraband's strictly forbidden in here," the guard pointed out after Ben reluctantly handed over the cell phone. "But, sometimes, we make an exception," the guard added before returning the device to Clyde, drawing a scoff of disbelief from Ben. "Don't look so surprised, son -- you know I got friends here, there, and everywhere," Clyde reasoned with a shrug after the guard exited the visitor's lounge.
After Sarah and Maggie exited the mansion together, Xander chased Ciara out of the living room, secretly wanting some privacy to continue communicating with Mackenzie's abductor. Xander waited until the coast was apparently clear then started composing another text message, unaware that Ciara hadn't gone very far.
"We've [already] started this thing, [so we're going] to see it through to the end," Clyde told Ben with finality -- just as the cell phone chimed. "He's on the hook, and now I just gotta reel him in..." Clyde mused with a wicked grin while composing a response to Xander's text message, leaving Ben even more unsettled than before.
Ciara watched from the foyer as Xander first exchanged a few more text messages with Mackenzie's abductor then worriedly called Victor into the living room. "Who the hell are these people?" Victor wondered after Xander explained what was going on. "I don't know, but they demanded we make a full confession," Xander reiterated. "To what?" Victor asked. "I think you know," Xander replied. "No, I don't know...and neither do you -- not for sure! After all, you've done some pretty terrible things in your life!" Victor argued. "Not with you!" Xander countered. "Still, you have to ask -- make them spell it out," Victor insisted.
"Well?" Victor asked expectantly when Xander received another text message after asking Mackenzie's abductor for clarification of what was being discussed. "You sent an innocent man to prison," Xander read aloud, drawing a sigh from Victor. "What should we do?" Xander wondered. "Nothing. We don't negotiate with terrorists," Victor advised. "They have my daughter! I have to do something!" Xander protested. "You want Mackenzie back? [Then] you have to sit tight and not make any impulsive moves that could backfire on us both," Victor maintained.
"Fire me, disown me -- whatever you need to do -- but I'm...I'm not gonna 'sit tight'; I'm gonna do what I have to do to save my daughter!" Xander insisted. "Don't be a damn fool. If we admit to what we did, you know what the consequences will be," Victor warned. "Maybe that's a chance I'm willing to take," Xander countered.
"Don't make a mistake you can't fix," Victor advised as Xander started exchanging more text messages with Mackenzie's abductor. "I can either wait and risk something terrible happening to Mickey...or I can put an end to this right now," Xander summarized for Victor, having apparently already decided which route to take.
"For the record, I hate this," Ben stressed as Clyde finished exchanging text messages with Xander. "I hate that you didn't listen to me, I hate that you did exactly what I told you not to do, I hate the whole damn thing! So now, Clyde, you're gonna make me a promise -- [that] the second Xander makes that confession to the cops, you are gonna tell your guy [on the outside] to return Sarah's baby!" Ben demanded.
"Oh, I'm sorry, son -- no can do. [See], I plan on keeping that baby for a good, long time, [because] this is about more than just getting you sprung; this is about using that baby to bargain my way out of here, too. [Now], why don't you just go to the phone, call that pretty girlfriend of yours, and tell her the good news -- that you'll be coming home again real soon. [Oh] -- and, by the way...you're welcome," Clyde countered before shoving past Ben and exiting the visitor's lounge.
"Sorry, Victor -- I have to do this..." Xander reasoned while retrieving a sheet of paper and a pen, prompting Victor to leave the living room in disgust -- just as Ciara, who was still eavesdropping from the foyer, received a phone call from Ben. "Thank God I remembered to put this thing on vibrate..." Ciara muttered after stepping outside to answer the call.
"I have to talk quick, 'cause my [phone card's] about to run out of credits," Ben began. "Okay, well, um, I'm at the mansion, and I'm eavesdropping on Xander, and he's getting texts from Mickey's kidnapper," Ciara revealed. "Yeah, I know -- my father sent them," Ben explained. "Wait -- he has a [cell] phone?" Ciara asked. "I'll explain later. [Just] tell me what you heard," Ben replied.
"Okay, so, the good news is -- I mean, if we can even call it 'good' news -- [that] my grandpa and Xander seem guilty as hell. They wouldn't get into specifics about what they did, but Grandpa warned Xander not to confess. [Given] the way [Xander's] been freaking out about his daughter, [though], I think he might -- [and then] you and Mickey can come home," Ciara reported. "That's not exactly the plan my dad has in mind -- [see], Xander's confession might get me out of here, but Clyde now has no intention of giving Sarah and Xander their baby back [then]," Ben admitted.
"[Look], I managed to grab [Clyde's] phone for one second, [and] I saw one name -- this guy, Ray, [who] lives outside of Salem in this old, like, boarding house [that], I think, [is] on...County Road A? [Anyway], just call the police --" Ben continued. "And...what, tell them that Ben Weston knows where [Mickey] is? No way, Ben -- the last thing that you need right now is to be implicated in a kidnapping; it could jeopardize your appeal, and you only have one left," Ciara argued. "Fine -- then make an anonymous tip. Say that you saw a kidnapping go down, and you felt obligated to report it, but you don't want to be involved in any way," Ben suggested.
"Promise me you will call the police and let them handle this," Ben demanded. "Okay, fine," Ciara agreed. "Promise me," Ben repeated, unconvinced -- but Ciara had already hung up.
Ben tried to call Ciara back, but the phone card was out of credits. "Ciara, please...stick to your word and stay the hell away from this," Ben muttered while smacking the pay phone in frustration. "I'm sorry, Ben, but I have to do this -- I have to find Mickey [and] bring her home," Ciara muttered while walking away from the Kiriakis mansion with determination.
At the police station, Sarah and Maggie waited in one of the conference rooms for an update on the search for Mackenzie. "If I never see her again, it's my fault," Sarah fretted. "You just looked away for an instant --" Maggie tried to protest. "I'm not talking about what I did today; I'm talking about what I've done in the past," Sarah clarified.
"I kept that precious little girl away from her father, and now somebody's keeping her away from me," Sarah continued, confusing Maggie. "You didn't keep Mickey from her father -- he's been with her from day one!" Maggie argued. "That's not exactly true..." Sarah admitted. "When I first found out that I was pregnant, I...I considered getting an abortion; I...I even went to the clinic," Sarah elaborated. "Oh, Sarah -- oh, I wish you had told me..." Maggie stressed. "I couldn't -- I was in a panic, and my relationship with her father was precarious at best..." Sarah explained.
"[Well, yeah] -- you only slept with Xander because you wanted to get over Eric..." Maggie summarized. "I just -- I thought that there was...there was no way that I could go through with this pregnancy, but...but then I changed my mind, 'cause I...I realized that I...I wanted this baby; I needed this baby..." Sarah continued. "[So], you had a beautiful daughter, [and] you have allowed her father to be a part of her life from the start -- [which means that] you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about," Maggie insisted before stepping out of the conference room to get a cup of water for Sarah, who had been crying throughout the conversation.
Maggie ran into Eric while searching for water for Sarah. "What are you doing here?" Maggie asked. "A kid I counsel [at] the Horton Center got arrested, so I thought I'd come and check on him," Eric replied. "[So], you haven't heard..." Maggie realized. "Heard what?" Eric wondered, prompting Maggie to explain what had happened to Mackenzie.
"And that's the whole sordid story of what we did," Xander concluded after signing a written confession at the Kiriakis mansion. "I'm doing this for you and the baby, Sarah -- even if it means I lose you both," Xander muttered. Meanwhile, Eric joined Sarah in one of the conference rooms at the police station and tried to offer some words of comfort. "I'm so sorry --" Sarah began to stress. "About what?" Eric wondered.
Ciara attempts to rescue Mackenzie
Outside the Kiriakis mansion, Ciara talked on the phone to Ben at the prison about the kidnapping. Ben told Ciara that he believed that Clyde's friend Ray was responsible. When Ben told Ciara where to look for Ray, she was anxious to investigate, but Ben begged Ciara to call the police instead. Ben suggested that Ciara make an anonymous tip to the police so that it would not hurt his appeal. Before Ben could extract a promise from Ciara, the phone went dead.
"I'm sorry, Ben, but I have to do this. I'm going to find Mickey, and I'm going to bring her home," Ciara said. At the prison, Ben worried aloud that Ciara would run off and look for Ray on her own. Ben attempted to call Ciara back, but he was out of credit on his phone card. Worried, Ben paced the recreation room. Will walked in and teased Ben, but Ben warned Will to back off because he was worried about Ciara.
"Why? I thought she was sticking by you no matter what?" Will asked. Ben said Ciara was still with him. Concerned, Will asked what was wrong. Ben told Will that he had been working with Ciara to uncover Jordan's real killer. Ben told Will about his and Ciara's plan to get closer to Victor.
"It all might go to hell now," Ben said. Will asked what had gone wrong. "Somebody kidnapped Sarah Horton's baby," Ben said. Ben explained that he believed Victor had directed Xander to murder Jordan and frame Ben. "I made the mistake of sharing that theory with my father," Ben added. When Will asked what Clyde had done, Ben confessed that Clyde had ordered a friend to kidnap the baby in order to force a confession out of Xander.
"Nobody knows my father's behind it, because he is in here, sending anonymous texts to Xander, managing it all from inside here," Ben said. Will asked Ben to stop the kidnapping. Ben shook his head and explained that Clyde had refused to return the baby until he could leverage Clyde's own freedom. Will wanted to tell the warden about the scheme, but Ben stopped him.
"My dad has eyes and ears all over this place. If word gets back to him, he's going to get back to Ray, and that baby may never come home again," Ben insisted. Will argued that they needed to get the information to the police. Ben assured Will that Ciara was reaching out to the police. Worried, Will asked Ben about the possibility that Ciara had decided do to something on her own instead of talking to the police.
"I can't sit on this. I'm not going to risk an innocent baby's life," Will said. As Will turned to leave, Ben grabbed his arm. "I can't let you do that," Ben threatened. Will ordered Ben to let go of his arm. "Are you going to kill me again?" Will asked. Ben reluctantly let go of Will's arm, and he apologized. Ben explained that he was worried that Will would put Ciara in danger because Ray was a dangerous man.
"Please, God, let the baby and Ciara be okay," Ben prayed aloud. Will told Ben that he believed that Ben had not murdered Jordan. "You could have sat back and let Clyde do his thing, but you didn't. You tried to stop him. So, I'm thinking, I don't know, maybe you are innocent, and you didn't kill your sister," Will said.
In the Kiriakis living room, Xander wrote a confession and signed it. "I'm doing this for you and the baby, Sarah. Even if it means I lose you both," Xander said. Xander's phone beeped with a message from the kidnapper, ordering him to turn his confession in to the police. "Doing that now. Please don't hurt her," Xander texted back. Xander muttered that he would kill the kidnapper if they hurt Mickey.
As Xander opened the front door to leave, he ran into Nicole. "I just heard about Mickey. Did someone really kidnap Eric's daughter?" Nicole asked. Xander ushered Nicole into the living room and cautioned her not to mention the paternity out loud. When Nicole demanded action, Xander explained he had a plan "to make it right." Nicole gasped.
"Did you have anything to do with this kidnapping?" Nicole asked. Xander's phone beeped with another text from the kidnapper. Nicole demanded an answer. Xander insisted he was not involved with the kidnapping, but Nicole did not believe him. Suspicious, Nicole asked Xander how he had managed to convince Victor to hire him as CEO of Titan. Xander growled that he had gotten the job through hard work.
"Try dirty work. Victor would never give you the top job at his company if he didn't want you to do something for him. Something bad!" Nicole accused. Nicole confessed that her biggest fear about letting Xander raise Eric's child was that Xander would hurt Mickey. Xander reminded Nicole that she had had no problem keeping the secret from Eric.
"It meant that you two could keep playing house. Giving your daughter a father. While I stepped up and raised that little girl," Xander argued. Xander added that he was tired of hearing Nicole say that Eric was Mickey's father. "She's my little girl. Eric may have created a baby with Sarah, but it's all he did," Xander said. Xander noted that he had been the one to help Sarah through her pregnancy and labor.
"I fell in love, too. Head over heels for that little girl," Xander said. Xander insisted that he was a changed man because he had been a father to Sarah's baby. "I'm Mackenzie's dad in every way that counts. And nothing will ever change that," Xander said. Xander's phone beeped with another message from Clyde, and he announced that he needed to go to the police station.
Across town, Ciara went to Ray's place. With the chain still on the door, Ray opened the door a crack. "Clyde sent me. To help with the baby," Ciara explained. "I don't know any Clyde," Ray protested. Ciara refused to back down, but Ray stressed that he did not know anything about a baby. Mickey started to cry. "I'm talking about that baby," Ciara said.
Ray let Ciara into the apartment, and she tended to Mickey's needs so that the baby would sleep. "You're a lifesaver. This kid's been driving me nuts," Ray muttered. Ray asked for Ciara's name, and she gave it. Ray put the chain back on the door, and he asked Ciara how she knew Clyde.
"I'm his son's girlfriend," Ciara said. Ray noted that Ben was on death row, and he asked Ciara if she was lonely. Ciara offered to watch the baby so that Ray could go to happy hour at the bar up the street. Ray pulled out a bottle of whiskey and suggested that they party at home. Ray repeatedly poured drinks, and Ciara repeatedly dumped her glass in a nearby potted plant every time Ray looked away.
"How are you going to let a good girl drink a bad boy under the table?" Ciara taunted. Ray poured another round, and she dumped hers out again. After Ray appeared to pass out drunk, Ciara promised Mickey that she would return her to Sarah's arms. Ray grabbed Ciara's shoulder and startled her.
At the police station, an emotional Sarah fell into Eric's arms and cried. "I'm so sorry, Eric! I'm so terribly, terribly sorry," Sarah said. Eric asked Sarah why she was sorry. Sarah started to confess to Eric, but Eli interrupted. Eli asked to talk to Sarah alone, but Sarah insisted that she wanted Eric there. Eli told Sarah and Eric that he wanted to offer the DiMera security forces to help look for Mickey. Sarah told Eli she was grateful for the assistance.
Eli asked Sarah if she had heard from the kidnappers. Sarah shook her head no, and she informed Eli that Xander had stayed at the house in case the kidnappers called there. "I haven't heard from [Xander] yet," Sarah said. Eli left to speak to his team, and Sarah cried out to Eric that she felt useless. Eric urged Sarah to trust that the police and Eli would do everything they could to save Mickey. Sarah sobbed in Eric's arms, and he comforted her.
When Xander arrived, Sarah explained to him that she had just told Eric that Mickey was missing. When Eric told Xander he was sorry for him, Xander asked Eric if he meant that. "No father should be separated from their child like this," Eric said. Xander shifted his eyes away, unable to look at Eric. Eric assured Xander and Sarah that Mickey would be home soon.
Eric turned to Sarah and asked her what she had wanted to tell him before about being sorry. Sarah looked over at Xander. "What I should have told you from the beginning is that I'm sorry. I shouldn't have unloaded my worry on you. I should have been doing that with Mickey's father," Sarah said. Xander breathed a sigh of relief.
After Eric left, Xander told Sarah that he was glad she had not told Eric the truth. "How can I tell [Eric] that I kept his daughter from him, and then I lost her?" Sarah asked. Xander swore to Sarah that he would do whatever it took to get Mickey back. Xander started to leave the room, but Sarah grabbed his hand. "You may not always be a stand-up guy, but you've been a really great father to my daughter," Sarah said. "You have no idea how much those words mean to me," Xander said quietly.
When Eric returned home, he found Nicole waiting there. Eric told Nicole about the kidnapping, and she said she had heard about it on the news. "So far, there are no leads. We have to keep praying that the baby is okay," Eric said. Eric smiled sadly.
"I know we found a lot of reasons why we shouldn't do this. And I thought about it tonight and why I shouldn't do this tonight, but I don't have any reasons why we should wait any longer," Eric said. Eric dropped to one knee and asked Nicole to marry him. Nicole fought back tears.
After Abigail dropped off her children at Doug and Julie's house for a sleepover, she returned home to spend the evening with Chad. Chad told Abigail that he needed to meet with Stefano. Chad was adamant that Stefano was a man of his word and would meet with him. Abigail was not so sure that Stefano would show up.
"I feel protective over you and our family," Abigail noted. Abigail reminded Chad that he had worked hard to establish himself as a separate entity from his father. Upset, Chad said his main reason for working with Stefano was to regain the company from Gabi and punish her for what Gabi had done to Abigail.
"If Stefano is involved, it's a whole different game. It's manipulations and negotiations, and it's shady," Abigail argued. Abigail said she was concerned that she would lose Chad to the dark side again. Chad assured Abigail that he would not go down a dark path again. Chad said that he did not like what Gabi had done with the company, and Abigail agreed and added that Gabi was unqualified for the job.
"It's not just about business. She has hurt so many people that I care about. Especially you. And now she is lording her power over us like she is the one that was wronged. I'm not gonna stand by and take it anymore. I need to take back what is ours," Chad said. Abigail asked Chad if that was possible without "losing yourself." Chad said he believed he could do it. Abigail insisted that she go with Chad to meet with Stefano.
Abigail explained that she did not want to sit on the sidelines while Chad and Stefano took down Gabi. "I want to be there," Abigail said as Eli walked into the living room. "What are you two up to?" Eli asked. Chad noted that Eli had interrupted a private conversation. Eli protested that, as head of security, it was his job to protect the company's interest. Chad dismissed Eli.
"I don't answer to you. The only person I report to is Gabi," Eli said. "Clearly, since you spend so much time checking the perimeters of her bedroom," Abigail retorted. Eli noted that his relationship with Gabi was no secret. Eli's phone rang, and he left to answer the call from Gabi.
Eli told Gabi that he had offered his services to Sarah to look for Mickey. Once that was approved, Eli added that he believed Gabi's hunch about Chad and Abigail was right. "They're definitely hiding something, and I'm going to find out what it is," Eli said.
In the loft, Gina told Stefano that she would not let him meet with Chad. Gina's phone beeped with a message about the kidnapping, and Gina complained about the case. With a sigh, Gina noted that, as police commissioner, she needed to head back to the station to keep up appearances until she and Stefano were ready to reveal themselves. Gina warned Stefano again not to meet with Chad because it would expose him to Abigail. Gina told Stefano that he could communicate with Chad, but he could not meet with Chad while she was gone.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad confirmed with Abigail that Stefano had messaged him to report for a meeting at the Salem Inn. "He asked me to come alone. Right now. He specifically requested that I do not bring my wife," Chad said. Chad asked Abigail if he should decline the invitation. Abigail noted that she had time to change Chad's mind and get him to agree to take her to the meeting.
After Chad and Abigail left the living room, Eli snooped around. Eli opened Chad's laptop and saw the message about a meeting in room 311 at the Salem Inn. "Can I help you?" Abigail asked when she returned to the living room. At the Salem Inn, a nervous Chad took a deep breath before he entered room 311.
At the police station, Gina marched in, masquerading as Hope, and she announced that every cop needed to be involved in the search. "Hope" said she would not rest until Mickey was returned to her parents. Xander exited the interrogation room and walked over to "Hope." "I need you to look at this. Now," Xander said as he handed his confession to "Hope."