At Statesville, Ben waited anxiously as Clyde continued cutting through the chain-link fence in an outdoor recreation area. "Almost there -- just a couple more cuts," Clyde assured Ben -- just as an alarm began blaring. "What the hell is that?" Ben asked worriedly. "It's the bed-check alarm. They must've found your empty cot. We gotta get outta here -- now!" Clyde urgently replied.
"Good enough," Clyde decided after making one more quick cut. "You first," Clyde said to Ben. "You sure?" Ben asked. "Don't argue with me!" Clyde replied. "I'm not leaving you!" Ben insisted. "I'm right behind you! Go -- now!" Clyde demanded -- just as a guard appeared with a gun drawn. Clyde lunged toward the guard in an effort to protect Ben, who still ended up taking a bullet to the left knee before Clyde finished neutralizing the guard. "The rest of the guards will be here any minute!" Clyde predicted as Ben writhed in pain on the ground.
"Can you walk?" Clyde asked while helping Ben up. "Barely," Ben replied after trying to put weight on the injured leg. "Just leave me here," Ben urged Clyde, collapsing to the ground in pain again. "I ain't leavin' you," Clyde insisted while tying a handkerchief around Ben's injured leg as a makeshift tourniquet. "I'm only gonna slow you down --" Ben argued. "This whole plan is for you! I have failed you as a father all my life! I have one chance to make it right by you, and I'm finally gonna do it, by God -- or die tryin'!" Clyde countered before helping Ben crawl through the opening in the fence.
"Okay, you next -- let's go!" Ben said to Clyde as more guards started closing in. "I'm stayin'," Clyde informed Ben while picking up the neutralized guard's gun. "What?" Ben incredulously protested. "Just get to this address," Clyde urgently advised, handing over a piece of paper. "Someone will be there to meet you [and] help you get away," Clyde continued. "[But] what about you?" Ben stammered, still confused. "Don't you worry about me -- just get the hell out of here!" Clyde replied -- just as two more guards appeared. "Go!" Clyde begged Ben.
Clyde surrendered to the guards as Ben stumbled off to the address that was written on the piece of paper -- and found Ciara waiting there on a motorcycle.
At a cafť in Prague, Rafe continued chastising Kate for having chosen to work with Stefano and Gina, of all people. "I know that it looks bad --" Kate defensively began. "So, you have not been working with them?" Rafe skeptically interjected. "'Working' with them? No! [Look], I swear to you, I did not know what [they were] going to do, [and] once I found out, I came here to stop [them] -- to do whatever I can to help," Kate insisted. "[And] I think I actually have already helped," Kate bragged. "How?" Rafe wondered, still skeptical. "Before I left Salem, I...performed a little switcheroo," Kate elaborated.
Meanwhile, at the makeshift palace in Salem, Stefano fumed over the realization that Hattie had been posing as Marlena all along. "I thought you were supposed to be some sort of, uh, an -- an -- an evil super genius, [but it sure] took you a long time to figure this out!" Hattie noted. "[But, then again, maybe] that's a compliment to my acting --" Hattie mused with a flourish. "Proud of yourself [for] taking advantage of my vulnerability?" Stefano snapped. "Well, you didn't make it that difficult; I mean, you're -- you're so focused on trying to get your -- your 'Queen of the Night' into bed that you were not paying attention to details," Hattie countered.
Stefano grudgingly admitted that Hattie was right. "I wanted so badly to believe that she could finally be mine --" Stefano began to explain. "Yeah... Well, if you ask me, it was a pretty bad plan to start with --" Hattie replied. "I didn't ask you!" Stefano snapped. "I mean, really? Really? Admitting to Marlena that -- that you're Stefano, and trying to seduce her? Wow -- that's a real buzzkill!" Hattie continued. "You threw yourself into my arms!" Stefano argued. "Well... Well, Marlena would have never fallen for all those sweet things you were saying -- especially the sexy parts," Hattie predicted.
"Marlena and I have a connection you wouldn't understand," Stefano insisted. "Well, I'd call it a one-sided connection...if there is such a thing --" Hattie mused. "Enough!" Stefano snapped.
"How did you get here in the first place?" Stefano demanded to know. "By car," Hattie replied. "[But] you had to have had help --" Stefano guessed. "You think that I'm not smart enough to -- to pull this off on my own? [You know, I once] pulled off being Marlena for months, and even John didn't know!" Hattie bragged. "Someone sent you -- someone with an agenda," Stefano maintained.
"So, who else knew the truth about me and my plans... Dr. Rolf? No -- much too loyal... Princess Gina? She's too focused on John..." Stefano continued. "Ah -- your waitress buddy Kate," Stefano realized, causing Hattie to flinch. "I'm right," Stefano decided, catching Hattie's reaction to the conclusion. "Believe me, Katerina will pay for what she's done," Stefano vowed, drawing a gulp of concern from Hattie.
Meanwhile, in Prague, Kate finished telling Rafe about Hattie's role in the plan to save Marlena and John from Stefano and Gina. "Do you have any idea how dangerous this is [for Hattie]? If Stefano finds out what you've done --" Rafe warned. "Hattie is a grown woman, and she knows exactly what she's getting into," Kate countered. "[Anyway], Marlena is in the hotel, following up [on] some leads, [and I came here] to follow up on some other leads, [but then] you derailed me --" Kate continued. "Oh, I'm sorry -- I'm sorry that I have questions about your relationship with Stefano DiMera!" Rafe replied.
"We're on the same side here --" Kate insisted. "And what side is that, exactly?" Rafe wondered. "The side that's trying to help John and Marlena catch Stefano and Gina! [So, just]...let me help!" Kate continued.
Meanwhile, in Salem, Stefano continued fuming over Kate's betrayal. "I guess her -- her friendship [with Marlena] was more important to her than whatever you were promising her [in exchange for keeping your secret]," Hattie reasoned. "So, she planned all of this?" Stefano assumed. "Well...no -- see, she...she came here, looking for Gina, [and] she found that Marlena was tied up, so she came to me and asked if I would switch places [and] stall you for a bit," Hattie clarified. "[And then Kate and Marlena] went looking for John, of course -- and I assume [that], by now, they've found [him], and they're heading back to Salem --" Hattie continued.
"No!" Stefano snapped. "Yes! And when they get here, they will go straight to the police and tell them who you are and what you've been doing, and then you will be going to jail --" Hattie warned. "Never!" Stefano insisted. "And when you're in jail, I hope you remember all the people that helped get you there," Hattie bragged. "Enjoy your moment while you can, Hattie Adams, because you just signed your own death warrant!" Stefano spat.
Stefano lunged forward in anger and wrapped both hands around Hattie's neck then started squeezing tightly -- just as Chad and Abigail entered the makeshift palace, having decided to finally take a look around the place that Stefano had once used as a hideout. "What the hell is wrong with you, Steve?" Chad demanded to know after pulling Stefano away from Hattie. "Marlena, are you all right?" Abigail wondered. "It's not Marlena; it's Hattie. [And] it's not Steve --" Hattie choked out. "Uncle Steve, where's your patch?" Abigail wondered. "Let go of me...my son!" Stefano begged Chad.
"What did you just say?" Chad replied, staring at Stefano in shock. "It's true -- you really are my father..." Chad realized with a scoff of disbelief before releasing Stefano with a shove. "Yes, Chad -- [and] now you know why I couldn't allow you to see me in person. I couldn't let anyone see my new face -- I couldn't reveal myself until I knew exactly who I could and could not trust," Stefano explained. "Apparently, you trusted my sister..." Chad grumbled. "Kristen is another story for another time," Stefano declared, waving a hand dismissively.
"I don't know how you pulled -- pulled any of this off...but, uh, I'm not gonna believe anything until I can actually get some answers...so, in the meantime, I'm taking you in [to the] police station --" Chad decided. "You won't do that, my boy -- not to your own father," Stefano protested. "You just tried to murder Hattie, so...yeah --" Chad maintained. "Yeah -- I thought I was a goner!" Hattie interjected, shuddering. "She is inconsequential -- and she's a liar," Stefano spat. "Well, you know something about lying..." Chad countered.
"I wasn't lying when I promised you would have it all -- [when I promised we would] get rid of Gabi Hernandez and reclaim DiMera Enterprises for ourselves," Stefano insisted. "That's a big promise," Chad noted. "[It's] your birthright, my son," Stefano stressed while removing the phoenix ring and offering it to Chad, who didn't take it. "I built [that] company with my sweat and with my blood, but I didn't do it for myself -- I did it for my family. [That's] what this has always been about -- family," Stefano continued.
"He can't trust you -- all you ever do is betray him," Abigail interjected. "This is between me and my son," Stefano snapped. "[Stefano's] not your real family," Abigail reminded Chad. "My blood is in his veins!" Stefano protested. "Thomas and Charlotte and I -- we are your family," Abigail continued, still speaking to Chad. "She lied to you! She betrayed you -- she betrayed your marriage!" Stefano reminded Chad. "Chad knows I would never lie to him again. What about you? Can you say the same?" Abigail challenged Stefano.
"Abby's right -- the answer's no," Chad decided after some thought. "I'm very sorry to hear that, my boy," Stefano replied. "I have to take you in now --" Chad reiterated. "You can betray me after all these years [and] turn your back on me...but if you think I'm going to go quietly, you don't know me very well," Stefano countered, drawing a concealed gun.
Meanwhile, in Prague, Gina pressed a dagger to John's neck -- a dagger that, according to Gina, had once belonged to the infamous serial killer Countess Elizabeth BŠthory -- and warned Marlena not to walk any farther into the abandoned building. "What have you done to him?" Marlena demanded to know from the doorway. "I have given him something to relax and keep calm," Gina vaguely clarified.
"[And] you will not try to talk to him [or] try to revive him; [instead], you will answer my questions -- all of them," Gina demanded. "Hmm. What do you want to know?" Marlena replied. "How the hell did you get here? I left you locked up in Salem! You had to have had help...but who would do that, hmm? Who would take that kind of risk -- going up against Stefano DiMera?" Gina began. "I have friends -- friends who would do anything for me -- [and] you don't have any friends, so you couldn't possibly understand that, but they're the ones who came through for me," Marlena vaguely explained.
"Who are these friends? Where are they? Do they even know that you are here?" Gina asked. "They'll know soon enough...[so] you should get away while you still can," Marlena replied. "I am not going anywhere without John," Gina insisted. "Really? A moment ago, you were about to kill him..." Marlena countered. "[But] that was just talk, wasn't it? I didn't think you were [really] going to hurt him," Marlena continued. "But I can kill you," Gina warned, waving the dagger threateningly. "But then John would track you down to the ends of the earth [and] make you pay," Marlena predicted.
"I think you need a better plan," Marlena advised. "Do not pretend you are trying to help me," Gina countered. "Oh, I am trying to help you...[but] not because I care what happens to you; [I'm just] hoping there's a way this doesn't end up tragically for everyone," Marlena clarified. "And what way would that be?" Gina wondered. "Well, you could try to get away while you can..." Marlena reiterated. "You know I cannot do that -- they will find me," Gina protested. "Well, there is another way you could escape -- you could leave here and take me as your hostage," Marlena continued.
"You want me to believe that you would willingly go as my hostage, and you would leave John behind?" Gina skeptically summarized. "I would do anything to save his life -- as he would do for me," Marlena fearlessly confirmed. "And if I were caught?" Gina wondered, still skeptical. "Well, you could...trade me for your freedom," Marlena suggested with a shrug. "You are so sure of yourself..." Gina curiously observed. "I'm sure of one thing -- my love for John, and his love for me. After all the times you've tried to win him and lost, I would think you would understand that [by now]," Marlena gently replied.
"John loves me. He always will. But if you listen to me, and you do as I say, you might [at least] get your freedom," Marlena advised.
Meanwhile, in Salem, Stefano aimed the gun at Chad. "You will not stop me or follow me," Stefano warned. "I can't let you leave here [and] disappear again," Chad countered. "Even you wouldn't shoot your own son," Abigail guessed. "Maybe not...but I wouldn't mind shooting you," Stefano admitted, aiming the gun at Abigail. "You have been a thorn in my side since the moment you married my son. And, in fact, I would be doing him a great favor by eliminating you," Stefano continued. "Oh, my gosh -- you really are a monster!" Hattie declared from behind Gina's throne. "Quiet, fool!" Stefano snapped, making Hattie jump.
"If you hurt [Abigail], I will never forgive you," Chad warned Stefano. "I admire your loyalty. If only she deserved it. [I mean], after having murdered your brother Andre, [and] after having slept with another brother -- [she's] a murderer and a slut!" Stefano replied. "Don't talk about my wife that way --" Chad protested. "How would you prefer I talk about a woman who took the life of one of my sons and cuckolded the other?" Stefano countered. "You just can't stand the fact that he chose me over you," Abigail interjected. "Don't make it any worse!" Hattie advised Abigail.
"All right, my boy -- I'll let Abigail live for now. I have better things to do," Stefano decided after some thought. "Marlena is still out there, and I will find her if it is the last thing I ever do," Stefano vowed before starting to rush out of the makeshift palace. Chad chased after Stefano, and a brief struggle ensued -- during which the gun went off.
Meanwhile, in Prague, Rafe and Kate burst into the abandoned building, having found the address during a search of Marlena's hotel room -- and discovered that John was the only person inside.
Stefano asks Kayla for help
Shawn called Jack and Jennifer down to the police station to tell them that Rolf had brainwashed Hope to believe she was Princess Gina. "I had no idea," Jennifer said. Shawn said that Gina had kidnapped Marlena and flown to Prague. Jennifer realized that she had enabled Hope's transformation into Gina when she had secured lab space for Rolf to work on Jack's serum. Jennifer told Jack and Shawn.
The memory of the night of Jennifer's fall flooded back to her. Jennifer told Jack and Shawn that she remembered that Hope had been there when she had looked at the flash drive. As Jennifer concentrated on the memory, she said that the flash drive had included plans to turn Hope into Gina. Jennifer gasped. Jennifer told Jack and Shawn that "Hope" had pushed her off of the balcony.
Shawn was anxious to take Jennifer's statement, and he directed her to the interrogation room to wait. "It wasn't Hope. Hope loves you. She would never hurt you," Jack assured Jennifer. Jennifer told Jack how terrible she felt for not remembering her confrontation with Gina sooner. Jack told Jennifer that he was relieved that Jennifer had not remembered the night of her fall, because her ignorance had been the only thing that had kept Gina from killing her.
In Stefano's loft, Stefano held Chad, Abigail, and Hattie at gunpoint. Stefano told Abigail, "You have been a thorn in my side since the moment you married my son. I would be doing him a great favor by eliminating you." Chad warned Stefano that he would never forgive Stefano if he murdered Abigail. Stefano countered that Abigail did not deserve Chad's loyalty.
"You just can't stand the fact that he chose me over you," Abigail yelled at Stefano. Hattie begged Abigail not to make the situation worse. As Stefano turned to leave, Chad jumped on him, and they wrestled for the gun. The gun fired. "Dad?" Chad asked. Stefano slumped to the floor. Chad apologized to his father.
"I didn't want to hurt you! I didn't want you to hurt Marlena! I'm sorry. Please forgive me," Chad said. Hattie urged Chad to finish Stefano. Chad ordered Abigail to call 9-1-1, but she explained that she had left her phone in the car. As Chad reached in his pocket for his car keys, Stefano hit Chad on the head with his gun. Chad fell over, and Stefano took advantage of the diversion to run out of the loft. Stefano jammed the door shut after he left.
Abigail asked Hattie to fill in the blanks for them. Hattie explained that Steve was not brainwashed but actually had the memories and thoughts of Stefano. "For all practical purposes, he is your father," Hattie told Chad. When Abigail asked how that was possible, Hattie shrugged. Chad blamed Rolf. Hattie confirmed that Hope was Gina.
"Marlena and Kate are going to go find John, and then together, they're going to go slap the snot out of that girl [Gina]," Hattie said. With no way out of the loft and no phones to call for help, Chad, Abigail, and Hattie settled in to wait for help. Chad and Abigail determined that Kate had to have been the person that had spied on Chad for Stefano. Chad was angry, but Hattie defended Kate. Hattie argued that Stefano could be persuasive.
While Hattie wrapped herself up in a blanket and sat on the throne, Chad told Abigail he was thankful to have her in his life. Chad said he was glad that Abigail accepted him despite his family. Bored, Hattie demanded that Abigail and Chad dance to entertain her. Chad was annoyed, and he started to yell at Hattie. The door burst open as Shawn charged in with his gun pointed. Shawn was confused to find Hattie, Chad, and Abigail instead of Stefano.
At the hospital, Kayla was shocked to find a bloody "Steve" in her office. "Steve" explained that he had returned from Prague in pursuit of Stefano, and Stefano had shot him. "Steve" assured Kayla that John and Marlena were in hiding and that he needed Kayla not to tell anyone that she'd seen him. Kayla objected to operating on "Steve" in her office, but "Steve" insisted that it was too dangerous to be in public.
"Stefano is more dangerous than ever. There is no telling what he might do," "Steve" warned. Kayla retrieved supplies, and she got to work on the wound. When Kayla mentioned the first time she had tended to "Steve's" wounds, "Steve" gamely noted that she had treated him at the health center. Taken aback, Kayla reminded "Steve" that she had first treated him at his place.
"I can't believe you would forget that," Kayla marveled. "Steve" claimed that his memories were clouded by the pain of the bullet wound. "Steve" added that he wanted to forget the past. "I have wracked my brain to figure out why you hate me so much," Kayla muttered. "Steve" claimed not to hate Kayla, and he argued that they had grown apart.
"We did not grow apart. We were, and these were your words, never closer. In fact, right before you left Salem, you told me that you felt that your feelings for me were never stronger than right then. That you couldn't live your life without me," Kayla said. "I guess that's what I felt at the time," "Steve" countered.
"I felt that I was married to a wonderful man who had a big heart, and was a wonderful father. Who was caring and loving and loyal," Kayla said. "And now you don't feel that way anymore," "Steve" noted. Kayla said she had realized that she had been delusional.
"The man that I was married to is really a shallow son of a bitch, who wouldn't know love if it bit him in the ass," Kayla said. When "Steve" thanked Kayla for expressing her anger, Kayla groaned. Kayla called "Steve" condescending. Kayla said that "Steve" had hurt her so much that the mention of his name made her physically ill.
"I'm sorry about that, but it's just life. As I said, people grow apart. Marriages end. Kayla, maybe it's better if we just don't talk about the past," "Steve" said. Sniffling back tears, Kayla sarcastically noted that she did not want to cause "Steve" any undue stress. With a sigh, Kayla announced that the bullet she had removed was intact. "Steve" thanked Kayla for her help, and he apologized again for causing her pain. "Steve" noticed that Roman was calling Kayla's phone. With a scowl, "Steve" asked Kayla for one more favor.
In the Prague dungeon, Rafe and Kate roused John awake. John told Rafe and Kate that Gina had drugged him. "Gina took Doc hostage. You've kind to find her, Rafe," John pleaded. Rafe ran out in search of Gina. Kate stayed behind with John and gave him a bottle of water. Confused, John asked Kate why she was in Prague.
"I came here with Marlena to find you because we knew you were in danger," Kate explained. When John asked for details, Kate avoided the question. Kate urged John to see a doctor, but John refused. As Kate helped John to his feet, John collapsed onto the floor. Kate realized that John was no longer breathing, and she performed CPR.
When Rafe returned to the dungeon, John was breathing and awake. "No sign of Gina or Marlena," Rafe said. "Gina tried to kill me. I have no doubt she is going to do the same to Doc," John argued.
Gina took Marlena at knifepoint to a nearby hotel. Once they were holed up in a room, Marlena said, "Hope, this is not you." "Yes, you're right. I'm not Hope. I'm Gina," Gina said. Marlena argued that Rolf had brainwashed Hope, but Gina disagreed.
"If John had only just given in to his feelings for me," Gina grumbled. "John doesn't have feelings for you. Any more than I have feelings for Stefano," Marlena said. When Gina asked about Stefano, Marlena told her that Stefano had no idea that Marlena had escaped. Marlena told Gina about Hattie's ruse.
"I knew she was not to be trusted," Gina said. Gina arranged for Stefano's plane to meet her and Marlena at a private airstrip. Marlena asked Gina where they were going. "I have not quite decided yet," Gina said. Marlena asked to check on John first and make sure he was not injured. When Marlena noted that Gina cared about John, Gina countered that John's love for her had disappeared.
"Why should I care if he dies?" Gina asked. Gina told Marlena it was time to go. When Marlena opened the door, she was surprised to find Roman in the hallway. Gina hid the dagger behind her back. Roman tipped his hand that he knew about Gina, so Gina grabbed Marlena and threw her onto the floor. While Roman rushed to check on the unconscious Marlena, Gina ran out of the room.
As Gina rushed out of the hotel, she muttered to herself, "I must get to that airstrip." Gina ran into Rafe on the street. Rafe gripped Gina's wrist, and she demanded that he let her go. Gina cried out for help. "It's over, okay? We found John, so why don't you save us both some time and tell me where Marlena is," Rafe asked. Gina told Rafe that Marlena was at the hotel. Gina wrenched her arm away; she lost her balance and fell to the ground.
Rafe shook Gina, but she appeared to be unconscious. When the woman woke up, she claimed to be Hope. Rafe told "Hope" that she had been transformed into Gina. "What have I done?" "Hope" asked. Rafe listed some of Gina's actions, and "Hope" started to cry. "Hope" asked Rafe to hold her. As Rafe gathered "Hope" in his arms, Gina pulled the dagger out of her jacket and lifted it. Kate rushed in and grabbed the dagger before Gina could stab Rafe.
"Not today, bitch," Kate said. Gina attempted to run, but Rafe grabbed her. Gina claimed that Hope was long gone and that he would not be able to rescue Hope. Rafe refused to believe Gina.
Back at the hotel room, Roman gently roused Marlena awake. Marlena was anxious to look for John, but Roman begged her to see a doctor instead. As Marlena stumbled to her feet, John walked in. Both shaky, John and Marlena plopped into two chairs. John told Marlena that Rolf had shot and killed Steve.
With a shake of her head, Marlena explained that the murder had been a trick. Marlena informed John that Stefano was Steve. With a sigh, John noted that the explanations made sense given Steve's temper and his possession of Stefano's ring. Marlena confirmed that Stefano had been working with Gina. Relieved, John and Marlena agreed that no one could keep them apart.
Mackenzie's loved ones receive more bad news
At the Salem Inn, Kristen received an unexpected visit from Brady, who had found a business-related reason to drop by unannounced but was quick to admit that it was basically just an excuse.
"It could wait [until tomorrow], but I, um...don't really want it to wait, because I really wanted to just see you," Brady explained to Kristen, who had opened the hotel room door a few inches and was peering through the crack with a mixture of delight and nervousness. "But...I mean, if this is a bad time, then I'll just --" Brady continued, clearly confused. "Um...no, no -- please," Kristen replied, opening the door a few more inches.
"What the hell is that?" Brady asked after noticing the thing that Kristen had been hiding -- Stefano's new portrait. "Um...Chad and Abigail found this stashed in the DiMera [guesthouse], and they brought it to me, [because] I'm one of the only people who's seen my father face to face, and the two of them got it into their heads that...he looks like Steve Johnson now," Kristen explained with a shrug. "I told them it was crazy...[you know], because it is --" Kristen continued. "Is it? [I mean], you came back to town as Nicole..." Brady argued. "And hurt so many people..." Kristen acknowledged with a sigh.
At the hospital, Victor received an unexpected visit from Justin. "Glad to see you're awake," Justin began. "Who could sleep in this hellhole?" Victor grumbled. "Maggie says you're gonna be released tomorrow -- that's good news," Justin continued. "Can't wait to blow this joint," Victor stressed.
"On the subject of 'blowing joints'...I just heard that Ben Weston escaped from prison," Justin began again, getting to the true point of the visit. "Were you involved?" Justin asked. "Why on earth would I break Ben Weston out of prison?" Victor replied. "Maybe you felt like you owed Ciara," Justin reasoned with a shrug. "If you recall, I spent a great deal of my time trying to keep that maniac away from my granddaughter," Victor pointed out. "Mm-hmm..." Justin conceded.
"Which is why she was so sure, all these months, that you and Xander framed Ben for Jordan's murder...until, somehow, you convinced her that you didn't, even though she overheard you and Xander admit that you sent an innocent man to prison... So, just for fun -- what did you say to Ciara to convince her that Ben wasn't the innocent man you got locked up?" Justin continued. "No wonder I had a stroke -- [all these] people accusing me of things I didn't do..." Victor evasively grumbled. "You're looking for a conspiracy where there isn't one," Victor innocently insisted. "I'm just looking for some answers," Justin clarified.
"And I pray to God [that] Ciara isn't involved..." Justin continued. "Yeah... Sometimes, she reminds me of her father -- impulsive, hardheaded, willing to do the wrong thing for the right reason..." Victor mused with a shake of the head. "Let's hope Ben is long gone so she won't have to deal with that troublemaker anymore -- that'd be the best possible ending," Victor stressed. "I don't think Ciara would agree with you," Justin noted. "Of course she wouldn't...[but] she'll get over it. [I mean, just] look at you -- as much as you loved Adrienne, you managed to move on with Kayla," Victor countered, waving a hand dismissively.
"I'm glad you found love again -- I really felt for you when you lost Adrienne," Victor stressed. "She was never one of your favorite people," Justin acknowledged. "Eh, we butted heads...but she made you happy -- and that's what's important," Victor reasoned. "I only wish that I'd had the chance to tell her that before it was too late..." Victor admitted with a heavy sigh. "She knew," Justin guessed. "I hope so..." Victor replied. "[Anyway], I think she's looking down now, and she's very grateful that you're with Kayla -- as am I," Victor continued. "I knew it -- you do have a heart!" Justin teasingly declared.
Meanwhile, Stefano continued pretending to be Steve while begging Kayla for another favor. "I need you to hide me," Stefano explained. "Hide you? Stefano's men tried to kill you! You need to contact the police!" Kayla argued. "[And] I will...when the time is right...[but] I can't take that chance right now. I need to take Stefano down [first]," Stefano countered. "John and Roman can help you. I'll call Roman --" Kayla offered. "No!" Stefano snapped, refusing to hand over Kayla's cell phone. "I'm sorry -- I can't let you do that," Stefano insisted in a gentler tone. "Involving John and Roman is only gonna get them killed," Stefano reasoned.
"I need to take Stefano down [by] myself...but until I'm ready to make my move, I need a place to stay -- [somewhere] no one will think to look -- [and] that's why I need you to hide me," Stefano explained. "I don't like the idea of you going up against Stefano alone --" Kayla protested. "It's not your call, woman!" Stefano snapped. "I'm sorry -- look, there's just so much at stake, and it's all up to me, all right?" Stefano reasoned in a gentler tone. "John and Marlena have each other, [and] Roman is your brother, but I'm unattached -- I'm a free agent -- [so] who would care if something happened to me?" Stefano continued.
"How can you say that? I mean, your children would certainly care!" Kayla insisted. "Jack would care!" Kayla continued. "Jack still hasn't forgiven me for not attending our sister's funeral," Stefano argued. "Well, that was pretty unforgivable...[but] you are the only family that Jack has left, [so I'm sure he] would care if you died," Kayla maintained. "What about you? Would you care if something happened to me?" Stefano wondered. "Of course I care -- you're the father of my children...and just because we're not married anymore, [that] doesn't mean that I want to see you end up dead," Kayla replied.
"[So], you need to come up with a different plan -- something better, something not so risky," Kayla advised. "Risk is part of the equation [with Stefano]," Stefano countered. "[Now], if I am gonna take Stefano down, I have to catch him completely off guard, which means I have to stay out of sight until I'm ready to make my move. You're my only hope. [So], will you help me?" Stefano continued.
Before Kayla could respond, Justin knocked on the office door and called out a greeting. "Why was your door locked?" Justin wondered when Kayla opened the door after hiding Stefano in the office's attached bathroom. "Oh...I'm -- I'm working on a report, and I kept getting interrupted," Kayla claimed. "What are you doing here?" Kayla asked, eager to change the subject. "Checking on Victor. [He's] being released tomorrow?" Justin replied. "Yeah," Kayla confirmed. "And not a moment too soon [for] my staff -- I think, uh, they're gonna throw a party," Kayla continued.
"Maybe you and I could throw a quiet little party of our own [tonight] -- open a nice bottle of Cab, turn on some music, [do some] slow dancing..." Justin suggested. "Sounds wonderful...[but] I really just need to work on this report, [and] it may be an all-nighter..." Kayla replied. "Can't you just do it from your laptop at home?" Justin argued. "No, I think I, um...I need [to stay here] -- you know, so I can really concentrate, because you are such a distraction..." Kayla reasoned. "Okay..." Justin agreed. "Is everything all right?" Justin wondered. "Of course it is -- [it's just] been a long day," Kayla claimed before chasing Justin off.
"Wow -- I wasn't sure for a minute there, but you really came through for me," Stefano admitted to Kayla after emerging from the bathroom. "Thank you," Stefano continued. "I really don't like lying to Justin --" Kayla fretted. "Eh, it wasn't a big lie -- I'm sure your relationship will survive," Stefano argued. "You know, you need help, [and] Justin could help you --" Kayla suggested. "No, no, no -- absolutely not!" Stefano snapped. "Involving Justin in this [would] be dangerous for him, [and] I wouldn't do that to you -- not after what I put you through," Stefano stressed in a gentler tone.
"Listen -- I know it's hard for you, but this one time, you really do need to trust me...Sweetness," Stefano insisted. "All right," Kayla agreed after some thought.
After Kayla rushed off in search of scrubs to use as a disguise, Stefano deleted all evidence of Roman's earlier call from Kayla's cell phone.
Kayla soon returned with the scrubs. "Why don't you let me help you put them on so you don't pull out a stitch?" Kayla suggested. "All right," Stefano agreed after some thought.
Meanwhile, Eric and Nicole met up with Sarah and Xander in one of the waiting areas so they could review the results of some compatibility tests together -- results that ultimately proved to be disappointing.
Xander soon rushed off to share the bad news with Victor, who contacted Theresa after realizing that Tate was Mackenzie's last good chance at a match. "[Theresa's] agreed to have herself and Tate tested," Victor informed Xander after ending the call. "I knew she would -- she'd do anything for Maggie," Victor continued as Xander breathed a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, Eric and Nicole awkwardly revealed to Sarah that they were back together again, and Sarah just as awkwardly revealed to Eric and Nicole that they weren't the only ones who were happy and in love.
Sarah soon rushed off in search of Xander, who was in the process of discussing Mackenzie's true parentage with Victor. "[Being with Sarah] is my dream come true, [and] I can't have her find out --" Xander stressed. "Find out what?" Sarah wondered. "Oh, we weren't talking about anything important," Victor insisted. "Then why do you both look so guilty?" Sarah countered.
"I guess the jig is up, Uncle Victor," Xander admitted with a nervous chuckle. "Oh, don't try and put me in the middle of this," Victor protested, playing along. "I didn't want to say anything -- I was hoping to keep it a secret -- [but] I've arranged to have a playhouse built for Mackenzie in the garden," Xander claimed, amusing Victor and confusing Sarah. "She's a baby!" Sarah stressed. "She is now...but she's gonna beat this disease -- [and then] she'll grow into a beautiful little girl who needs a playhouse," Xander reasoned. "You are too much!" Sarah raved. "He certainly is..." Victor agreed.
Meanwhile, Eric finished updating Brady -- who, before Eric's phone call, had been close to falling into bed with Kristen, despite their previous agreement to take things slowly.
After processing the bad news, Brady and Kristen again agreed to take things slowly. "And that is my cue to leave," Brady acknowledged before rushing out of Kristen's hotel room.
"Oh, Father -- I do not know if you are gonna be reunited with Marlena...but I think I have a real chance at getting back together with Brady," Kristen bragged to Stefano's portrait once the coast was clear.
After fleeing from Statesville together, Ciara and Ben drove to the DiMera property. "We haven't lived here in over a year, so I figured the police wouldn't even think to check here, so we can stay here until --" Ciara reasoned while helping Ben get inside the guesthouse. "No, no, no -- not...not 'we,'" Ben countered. "I can't believe my father involved you in this [after] I warned him not to..." Ben grumbled. "[Anyway, look], I only accepted that ride [from you] because the place was swarming with cops. I've got it from here. You need to leave -- and do not come back. [Just] forget about all of this," Ben stressed. "No," Ciara replied.
"What do you mean, 'no'? Do you know how much danger you're in right now? You're helping a fugitive!" Ben protested. "I don't care! [Look], I love you, [so] I'm in this, Ben -- I'm not going anywhere," Ciara maintained. "Not happening. You need to leave. You have a life to live --" Ben maintained. "I don't have a life without you in it," Ciara insisted.
"So, just shut up...and take off your clothes," Ciara demanded, confusing Ben -- who realized, after complying, that Ciara just wanted to treat the gunshot wound. "I'm afraid my nursing skills aren't nearly as good as yours," Ciara warned, knowing that the treatment was going to leave Ben in even more pain. As Ciara worked, Ben continued begging to be left alone, but Ciara remained unconcerned about the risks of helping a fugitive.
"For one night -- this night -- can, uh...can we just be us? Can we not worry about what's on the other side of that door, or worry about tomorrow? Can we just...can we just go back to being us? Because I haven't been this close to you, [and] I haven't been this alone with you, in forever, so can we...can we just please do that?" Ciara requested, and Ben agreed.
Shawn faces off with Gina
J.J. went to the town square to pick up a tuxedo then returned home to get ready for Eli and Gabi's wedding ceremony -- and found Lani in the kitchen, pacing the floor and staring expectantly at the screen of a cell phone.
"You want coffee? I made some coffee!" Lani offered. "[Already] had a couple pots, huh?" J.J. observed. "Well, you know what, J.J.? I haven't slept! Okay? [See], I was laying in bed, thinking I was having a nightmare that Gabi and Eli are getting married...but it's not a nightmare, is it? It's reality! Eli is really going to marry that bitch!" Lani fretted.
"Look, the wedding -- it's not gonna happen, okay? By then, Julie's gonna have a new pacemaker, [and] she's gonna be out of danger --" J.J. argued. "Gabi knows about the new pacemaker -- you don't think she's gonna try to screw with that one, [too]?" Lani countered. "I think Gabi, by now, has had enough revenge -- [I mean], she thinks she's getting married, [and] she thinks that she's won, so why would she go after Julie again?" J.J. reasoned. "Because she is insane!" Lani stressed. "[Okay, well], I'm gonna go to the hospital [and] keep an eye on things, [so] if Gabi shows up, I'll handle it," J.J. promised.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi received a special delivery -- Julie's new pacemaker. "It's exactly like the other one?" Gabi asked the courier, Chris. "Exactly. Once it's installed, you'll have full control over it with the app," Chris replied. "Which means I'll [keep] control of Lani -- [and that's the] perfect wedding present," Gabi raved. "'Wedding present'? You getting married again, Mrs. DiMera?" Chris wondered. "I am marrying the patient's grandson!" Gabi confirmed, grinning mischievously. "[So]...something old, something new, something borrowed, something...lethal?" Chris joked. "I don't pay you for your witty commentary," Gabi snapped.
"So, please, go do what you are paid to do -- and don't screw up," Gabi demanded. "Hard to screw up -- just have to get this to the hospital, [then] to the doctor doing the procedure," Chris summarized. "[Then] get going -- oh, and don't forget, this is strictly between the two of us; it is our little secret," Gabi stressed -- just as Chad and Abigail entered the study. "Apparently, nobody knocks in this house!" Gabi complained. "We live here," Abigail pointed out. "Oh? I thought you moved to the backyard," Gabi countered. "What little secret?" Chad interjected, making Gabi squirm a bit.
"Who is this guy? What are you guys up to? What are you doing?" Chad continued, eyeing Gabi and Chris suspiciously. "Well, this is my jeweler, if you must know -- see, I bought a watch for Eli, and [Chris] needed my approval so he could start the engraving process," Gabi claimed, and Chris played along. "Let me see it," Chad requested while reaching for the box that Chris was holding, which actually did look a bit like the kind of box that a jeweler might offer as a storage case for an expensive watch. "No!" Gabi snapped, shielding the box. "Nobody's gonna see it until Eli does," Gabi reasoned with a shrug. "Right..." Chad replied.
"I can trust the two of you to, uh, not spoil the surprise, right?" Gabi challenged Chad and Abigail as Chris rushed off with the box. "Don't worry -- we know what happens when people get in your way," Abigail replied, drawing a proud grin from Gabi, who clearly considered that a compliment. "I have something I need to tell you --" Chad announced. "Can't it wait? This is my wedding day! [And] Arianna's sick, so Sonny can't go, [and] --" Gabi complained. "It's about the company," Chad clarified, silencing Gabi at once. "Thought that would get your attention..." Chad continued, somewhat amused.
"All right, Chad -- what is it about my company? Spit it out!" Gabi impatiently demanded. "Stefano's back," Chad revealed, stunning Gabi, who started cracking jokes after hearing the whole story. "It's not funny," Chad insisted. "It's not real!" Gabi countered. "[It's real...and] if he's [so] pissed off at a waitress [that he's ready to kill her], imagine how he feels about you -- the woman who is currently running his company," Chad warned. "[So], by the way, you're welcome for the heads-up," Abigail added.
"This is payback, right? You're trying to freak me out on my wedding day?" Gabi guessed. "We're just trying to give you a fair warning," Chad insisted. "Okay, well, maybe it's not Stefano -- maybe Steve's [just] lost his mind, [and] he thinks he's somebody else. It happens, you know?" Gabi suggested, pointedly gesturing to Abigail. "[Look, if] you don't believe me, call Rafe -- he just arrested Hope...[although] it's not really Hope, 'cause Dr. Rolf turned her into Princess Gina...again," Chad tiredly revealed. "Both of you should try looking into getting a room -- at Bayview!" Gabi advised, still unconvinced.
"[Look], this is my wedding day, [so] I'm gonna remove this nonsense from my mind, and I'm gonna go get ready. Abigail, would you like to help me?" Gabi continued. "No -- I can't," Abigail replied, somewhat surprised that Gabi had asked in the first place. "Won't," Gabi translated. "[No] -- can't, actually. I am going to the hospital to see if I can be a donor [for] Mickey," Abigail explained. "That's a ridiculous name for a baby girl," Gabi declared. "But, as a mother, I do feel for Sarah, [so] I should probably spare a few minutes and get tested myself..." Gabi decided with a sigh of irritation. "How positively noble of you," Chad sarcastically mused.
Eli went to the hospital to see Julie and Doug, who were both hopeful that the pacemaker replacement procedure would go smoothly. "[About that]... We can't seem to find Kayla," Eli revealed. "Has anyone called Justin?" Doug asked. "I left him a message," Eli replied. "Does this mean I can't have my procedure today?" Julie wondered. "No, everything is still going according to schedule -- a cardiologist will do it," Eli clarified. "I think we should wait for Kayla," Doug argued. "Honey, please don't be negative! Remember the last time we had this procedure? It was easier than a trip to the dentist! It's a piece of cake -- wedding cake!" Julie countered.
Meanwhile, Stefano continued pretending to be Steve while waiting for Kayla to finish changing the dressing on the gunshot wound, which looked a lot better than it had the previous night. "You know, if you hadn't fixed me up and hidden me [here], I could be dead right now," Stefano acknowledged while looking around what appeared to be a storage shed. "Thank you...Sweetness," Stefano continued, grasping Kayla's hands and making eye contact. "That's what ex-wives are for," Kayla stiffly replied, pushing Stefano's hands away. "Time for me to go --" Kayla quickly added, standing to leave. "No -- I'm sorry, but I can't let you leave," Stefano insisted.
"How dare you tell me what I can and cannot do!" Kayla snapped. "You didn't even do that when we were married!" Kayla pointed out. "Oh? I must have from time to time -- just like you probably did it to me," Stefano argued. "No -- never!" Kayla maintained. "Really? I seem to recall you being pretty bossy..." Stefano maintained. "But, you know, I -- I didn't take it personally; I figured you were, uh, chief of staff [at] a big hospital [and were just] used to ordering people around, [so] I forgave you for it," Stefano continued, shrugging. "You have really turned into a first-class jerk!" Kayla observed with a shake of the head and a scoff of outrage.
"I'm leaving," Kayla reiterated. "No -- I need you!" Stefano protested. "So does Julie -- she is getting her pacemaker changed out today, and I am doing the procedure," Kayla revealed. "But you're not a cardiologist," Stefano pointed out. "Can't somebody else do it? Julie's a tough old bird -- I mean, does she really need to be coddled?" Stefano continued. "[Apparently], you do, right? 'Oh, don't help Julie; just help me' -- is that it?" Kayla countered. "All right -- sorry..." Stefano conceded. "Trust me -- you will be just fine until I get back," Kayla predicted before starting to storm off. "I can't let you leave," Stefano repeated.
"You 'can't let' me leave? You actually have said that to me -- twice!" Kayla incredulously summarized. "I'm sorry...Sweetness --" Stefano began. "You can just take 'Sweetness' out of your vocabulary, all right? Who the hell do you think you are, talking to me like that? [I mean], we can just skip how offensive that is and go straight to how stupid it is! Do you not get it? Do you not get how completely dependent you are on me [right now]? How maybe the only reason I am helping you is because I want to see Stefano taken down for all the things that he has done?" Kayla countered.
"Calm down --" Stefano began again. "Don't tell me to 'calm down' -- and don't order me around, and don't threaten me! I shouldn't even be talking to you, never mind helping you! You hurt me! You were cruel! You signing those divorce papers shattered me! I laid in bed, night after night, [for] weeks, wondering how on earth the man that I love -- the father of my children -- could turn into such a heartless bastard! [And] I would go to work [and] try to just get through every single day, [but] when I would get home, [I always] fell apart [all over again]," Kayla continued.
"That's very sad," Stefano declared. "What's sadder [is] your life -- and what lies ahead for you when you finally come down to earth [and] realize what you've done," Kayla countered. "You've convinced yourself that this marriage wasn't working for you, [but] I know -- [and] you, deep down in your heart, [also] know -- that the kind of love that we had was extraordinary, [and] passionate, [and] tender... And we [also] had a friendship -- you were my best friend, and you told me that I was yours. [And] I know that you feel damn guilty for abandoning that -- [for] abandoning me, and your life, and your family," Kayla continued.
"People grow apart -- [it's] a fact of life," Stefano stressed with a dismissive shrug, further annoying Kayla, who started to storm off. "Wait!" Stefano called out, stopping Kayla. "Don't you comprehend that you're in just as much danger as John and Marlena? I'm not threatening you; Stefano is! [Now, look], I'm sorry if I used the wrong tone of voice, but I'm begging you to think about what's happening here, all right? [I mean], you're right -- we have our children to consider, [because] Stefano is on the loose, [and] he's after me, [but] he's gonna target the people I love," Stefano warned.
"I'm not the ISA or anything like that, but [I'm sure] nobody followed us last night --" Kayla argued. "This is Stefano we're talking about -- you're not gonna see him in your rearview mirror; you won't have any idea where he is until he's face to face with you, [and] he is much closer than you think!" Stefano countered. "You don't have to tell me how Stefano operates -- I have dealt with him and his stooges before," Kayla pointed out. "[But] this time is different, [because] he's desperate, [and] he's got nothing to lose," Stefano reasoned. "[Then] I need to call Justin [and] tell him what's going on..." Kayla decided, suddenly concerned.
"Where the hell is my phone?" Kayla wondered after searching her purse. "I saw it on your desk yesterday -- you probably forgot it because we were in such a hurry to get out of there," Stefano, who actually still had the device, suggested. "Damn it!" Kayla snapped, accepting the claim. "Guess you're just gonna have to be incommunicado for a while -- just you and me..." Stefano mused, grinning mischievously.
At the hospital, Doug and Julie discussed Eli and Gabi. "I have never been so wrong about another human being in my entire life," Julie mused with a shake of the head, referring to Gabi.
Meanwhile, Chris bumped into J.J. near the nurses' station. "Don't I know you from somewhere?" J.J. asked. "A lot of people say that... Maybe I have a twin I don't know about -- it is Salem..." Chris replied. "Heh. Point taken," J.J. conceded. "J.J. Deveraux -- I work here," J.J. continued, extending a hand. "Chris Choi -- I work for a medical device company, [and] I'm here a lot, [so] maybe you saw me making a delivery," Chris countered while shaking J.J.'s hand. "Yeah, I guess that was it..." J.J. agreed. "So...off to work..." Chris declared before rushing off -- just as Eli approached J.J.
"Psyched about tonight?" Eli asked. "What?" J.J. replied, still focused on Chris, who soon disappeared from view. "Definitely," J.J. confirmed after Eli repeated the question. "Well, you definitely don't seem like it..." Eli curiously observed. "Sorry... Um, that guy that just left -- I...I know him from somewhere...but not the hospital, though... [Anyway], it's bugging me that I can't remember," J.J. explained.
At the police station, Shawn tried to contact Ciara, but the call went to voicemail. "I heard about Ben's escape. Would you just do me a favor and just steer clear of the guy? And I need you to call me as soon as possible, all right? It's about Mom. It's important," Shawn said before ending the call -- just as Rafe escorted Gina into the building. "Mom?" Shawn hopefully began. "You shall address me as 'Your Royal Highness, Princess Gina Von Amberg'...or do not address me at all," Gina coldly demanded, drawing a scoff from Shawn and a shake of the head from Rafe.
"How dare you manhandle me? Take these manacles off of me -- immediately!" Gina snapped at Rafe while being escorted into one of the conference rooms. "This is insanely ridiculous!" Gina declared, and Rafe dryly agreed. "This is brutality!" Gina complained while being handcuffed to a chair. "I demand to speak to my attorney -- no, make that the State Department! You have kidnapped a foreign sovereign! There shall be hell to pay!" Gina snapped. "This is truly worse than hell..." Rafe muttered while exiting the conference room. "Do not leave me!" Gina protested.
"What about John and Marlena? Belle's been blowing me up -- [she's] worried sick," Shawn began again when Rafe emerged from the conference room. "They're okay -- [they took] a separate flight back," Rafe assured Shawn. "And what about Kate? I'm -- I'm assuming that she's -- she's been arrested, right?" Shawn continued. "Yeah -- she's, uh, being arraigned as we speak," Rafe confirmed. "Good! I hope they throw the book at her!" Shawn spat before quickly apologizing, knowing that Rafe cared about Kate -- and knowing, also, that bitterness wasn't productive.
"What we need to do [is] focus on getting my mom back," Shawn acknowledged. "About that...according to 'Her Highness'...[your mom's] not coming back," Rafe revealed. "No, no, no -- if Rolf did something to her, then he can undo it, okay? He has to!" Shawn insisted. "I hope so -- I really do -- but...honestly, we don't...we don't know what the hell we are dealing with here... [And] I just want to warn you -- Gina said what Rolf did was permanent," Rafe continued. "No, no, no -- there's no way that...there's no way that you can just permanently erase a woman's personality!" Shawn maintained.
"And Princess Bitch [likes making] grand pronouncements, [so] there's no way in hell I'm gonna believe that my mom is gone -- [that the] thing in [that room] has taken over [and is] gonna win! [In fact], you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go find Rolf [and] make him turn her back! And then I'm gonna kill him!" Shawn continued. "Roman's leading the search for Rolf, [but] in the meantime, [there's] not much we can do," Rafe argued. "[We could] take my mom to the University Hospital and have Kayla do -- do a brain scan on her; I mean, that's what they did last time --" Shawn suggested.
"You really think [Gina's] gonna consent to that?" Rafe asked. "Well, it doesn't matter -- it's not her body; it's my mom's body!" Shawn replied. "We need a court order," Rafe pointed out. "Then we'll get one!" Shawn countered. "I only have 48 hours until I have to charge her with a crime. I can only put off the D.A. for so long," Rafe stressed. "[Then] we need to get my mom back before then," Shawn decided.
After Rafe rushed off to fill Doug and Julie in on what had happened, Shawn joined Gina in the conference room.
Shawn tried to appeal to Hope, who had once saved Shawn from falling overboard when they had encountered a violent storm while sailing around the world with Bo on their family boat. "That was a Category 4 hurricane, [and] this is a vain, stupid, shallow woman who's got delusions of adequacy. She is no match for you," Shawn assured Hope.
"Very sweet speech," Gina replied, forcing a tear and wiping it away mockingly. "[But] all the sincerity and all the passion in the world cannot bring your mother back, because she is gone -- she no longer exists. [So], it is time you let her go," Gina continued, flashing a triumphant grin.
Lani plots to interrupt the wedding
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail complained to Chad about how tired she was after helping Gabi all day. With a grin, Chad gave Abigail a necklace for Valentine's Day. Chad put the necklace around Abigail's neck. "The kids and I have something special for you, too," Abigail said. Abigail handed Chad a homemade card. As Chad smiled, Harold called Chad's phone to tell him that someone had left a light on in the guesthouse. Chad said he would check it out.
"Are you out of your mind?" Abigail asked. Abigail suggested that Chad ask one of the security guards to check the guesthouse for him. When Chad suggested that Abigail was overacting, Abigail shrugged and told Chad that she would see him at the wedding.
In the DiMera guesthouse, Ciara checked the news on her phone. The news confirmed that the roads were locked down for the manhunt. Ben was eager to make a run for it, and he pleaded with Ciara not to go with him. "We have to face reality and say goodbye," Ben said. Furious, Ciara refused to say goodbye to Ben. Ben said he did not want Ciara to live her life on the run, but Ciara claimed that she did not have a life without Ben in it.
"If I take you with me, I'm going to end up hating myself," Ben stressed. Ben said he hoped that he would be with Ciara in the future but that they could not be together in the present. "Every cop in three states is looking for me, and you're my main known associate, which means that they are looking for you, too," Ben said. Ben noted that the longer that Ciara ignored her phone, the more likely it would be that everyone would believe she was on the run with him. As Ben opened the door to leave, he ran into Chad.
"Weston! What the hell are you doing here?" Chad asked. Chad shoved Ben aside, and he asked Ciara if she was helping Ben. Ben claimed that he had forced Ciara to help him. Chad grabbed his cell phone. Ciara begged Chad not to call the police because Ben was innocent.
"I don't know what he did or didn't do to his sister, but I know what he did to my wife. Ciara, he killed three people!" Chad shouted. "He's different now," Ciara objected. Chad argued that Ben had not changed, and he intended to send Ben back to prison. Ben argued that Chad was right.
"I put Abigail through hell, I killed three people, I tried to kill Will. That's never going to go away, and it shouldn't go away," Ben said. Ciara argued that Clyde was to blame. "Ben is better now. He is the man he would have been if he hadn't had Clyde for a father. He is sweet, he is kind, he is caring, and I love him," Ciara said. Chad countered that Bo would be upset to hear Ciara say those words.
"People stand by the ones they love. Abigail did some horrible things when she was not in her right mind, but you still love her, right?" Ciara asked. Ciara begged Chad to show compassion. Reluctantly, Chad shoved his phone back in his coat pocket. "I want you out by tomorrow," Chad growled. Ben swore he would be gone. Chad asked Ciara to be careful. "If it were Abigail, you would be doing the exact same thing," Ciara said. Ciara thanked Chad. "You're lucky it is Valentine's Day," Chad said. With a grunt, Chad walked out.
Ciara smiled at Ben and pointed out what Chad had said. Ben said he had not realized it was Valentine's Day because he had been too busy thinking about evading the police. "Let's make the most of it," Ciara said. Ciara said she did not want to spend their last night together arguing. "I want to make love to you right now," Ciara said. "I love you. More than anyone. More than I ever thought I could love someone. That's all I got for you for Valentine's Day," Ben said. Ciara smiled. "That's all I want," Ciara said.
In Gabi's bedroom, Gabi talked to Julie on the phone. Julie confirmed that her new pacemaker had been installed and that she was ready to conduct the wedding ceremony. Julie told Gabi that Doug could not attend the wedding because he was focused on Hope, and Gabi said she understood. After Gabi ended the call, she checked the app on her phone. The app confirmed that Julie's new pacemaker was active. Gabi looked in the mirror and saw Stefan's wedding ring on the necklace around her neck.
Gabi looked at a photo of Stefan and said, "I'll always love you. I'm never going to forget you. I know that you wouldn't want me to spend the rest of my life alone. You'd want me to be happy, and Eli makes me happy. There is always going to be a very special place in my heart for you. I still miss you. I miss how honest we were with each other." Gabi said that the happiest day of her life had also been the worst. Gabi broke down in tears.
"I was driving myself crazy. I made [Lani] get on her knees and beg for your heart. I thought it was going to make me feel better, but it didn't. Stefan, I lost you. And Lani had Eli, and Julie had your heart keeping her alive, and I couldn't stand it. So, I came up with this plan so that I could feel sane again," Gabi said. Gabi told the photo of Stefan that she had not expected to fall in love with Eli or for Julie's attitude toward her to change.
Gabi told the photo that she wanted to delete the pacemaker app, but she was afraid that without having leverage over Lani, everyone would find out what she had done. Gabi worried aloud that Eli would hate her, she would go to prison, and Arianna would grow up without her mother. "I can't take that chance," Gabi said.
After Gabi dressed, Rafe stopped by. Rafe announced that he was there to walk Gabi over to the square. Gabi hugged her brother and thanked him. As Gabi collected her stuff, Rafe picked up the photo of Stefan. "You've been thinking about him today, huh?" Rafe asked. Gabi nodded yes.
"I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him," Gabi said. Rafe asked Gabi if she was sure that she wanted to marry Eli. Gabi stressed that she loved Eli and wanted him to be her husband. "This marriage is going to work. Eli is an amazing man, and I am the luckiest woman in the world," Gabi said. Rafe disagreed and said that Gabi was not lucky.
"You used to think you had to trick people into finding happiness or getting what you want. Now, you realize that you got the best man in the world and he loves you because of you. You've changed. You've grown up," Rafe said. Rafe said that Eli was the luckiest man in the world. With a sigh, Rafe suggested that they leave for the wedding. Gabi nodded, and she said she had one more thing to do. Gabi took off her necklace that contained Stefan's ring. Gabi placed the ring on top of Stefan's photo, and she put them into the desk drawer.
Abigail went to the hospital to check on Julie and see if she was up for officiating Gabi's wedding. Julie said she was anxious to see Eli get married. "It is my chance to make amends. I have never been so wrong about anybody in my life as I've been about Gabi," Julie said. Abigail rolled her eyes. "I'll never be a fan," Abigail said. Julie reminded Abigail of when Julie had believed in her when nobody else had.
"I certainly hope you can find it in your heart to forgive her because tonight, she is going to become a member of the Horton family. She is going to become our relative," Julie said.
While Eli and J.J. made small talk in the town square, Eli noticed J.J.'s sour mood. Eli asked what was wrong. "Just thinking about Haley," J.J. said. Eli apologized for being insensitive, and he asked if J.J. wanted to back out of participating in the wedding. J.J. confirmed that he still wanted to be the best man. Eli asked if J.J. would be able to stomach seeing Kristen.
"Gabi insisted on inviting her. She didn't RSVP, though," Eli said. J.J. said that he accepted that Haley's death had been a horrible accident. J.J. added that he would keep his distance but that he could be at the same event as Kristen.
In J.J.'s apartment, Lani called Kristen's phone and left her a voicemail. "Gabi and Eli's wedding is tonight. I know what I have to do, but I would feel a lot better if I could talk it over with you," Lani said. Lani changed clothes and said, "God, I don't know if this is the right thing. All I know is that I have to do it."
At the Salem Inn, Kristen finished her workout and noticed that Gabi had called. Before Kristen could call Gabi back, Brady knocked at the door. Brady was dressed in a tuxedo. Brady asked Kristen to be his date for Gabi's wedding. When Kristen groaned, Brady noted that Gabi had invited Kristen to the wedding. Kristen argued that she had only been invited because Gabi wanted her stock. Brady asked Kristen if she wanted to join him. Kristen said she could not go because she did not want to be disloyal to Lani.
"Lani left Eli at the altar. Are you saying she still loves him?" Brady asked. Kristen said she had misspoken and that Lani's love was in the past. Kristen argued that the issue was sensitive for Lani, and Brady said he understood. Brady asked about Kristen's charm bracelet. Brady worried aloud that Kristen had taken off the bracelet because the memories of their daughter were too painful. Kristen pulled the bracelet out of the desk drawer.
"Good, because I have an addition to it," Brady said. Brady pulled a box out of his pocket, and he said he wanted to put the painful memories of their past behind them. When Brady opened the box, it revealed a heart charm. "Happy Valentine's Day," Brady said. Brady put the charm on the bracelet, and Kristen noted that the day Brady had given her the bracelet had been one of her favorite days. Brady and Kristen talked about their daughter, and Brady suggested that they stop living in the past. Brady asked Kristen to join him.
After Kristen dressed, she asked Brady for help with her zipper. Brady started to zip the dress, paused, then unzipped it. Brady kissed Kristen's neck. "What are you doing?" Kristen asked breathlessly. "What do you think," Brady whispered as he kissed Kristen. "You didn't really want to go to this wedding in the first place, did you?" Brady asked. Kristen giggled and said she would much rather be with Brady than anywhere else.
In the town square, Eli sat alone and looked at the decorations for the ceremony. Abe was passing through, and he stopped to wish Eli well. "I still can't believe what Lani did. Or that she disappeared from my life the way she has," Abe said. Abe explained that he had spoken to Lani about her plans to become a nun. As Abe chatted with Eli, a disguised Lani lurked nearby and listened.
"All I can tell you is that the Lani that broke your heart that day is not the daughter that I know and love," Abe said. Abe told Eli that Lani had retreated behind the walls of the convent and that he missed her. Eli said he understood. Eli asked Abe if he would stay for the wedding.
"Ever since I came to Salem, you've been like a father to me," Eli said. "That means the world to me," Abe said as his eyes lit up. Eli started to warn Abe that Valerie would be at the ceremony, but he was interrupted when Valerie walked into the square. Abe and Valerie hugged and greeted one another.
Eli stepped away to call the photographer. Alone in the park, Eli thought about when Lani had broken up with him. From nearby, Lani watched him sitting on the bench. When Eli returned to the square, Lani sighed as she watched him walk away.
In the square, Chad joined Abigail and the other wedding guests. Abigail asked about the guesthouse. Chad promised to fill Abigail in later. When Julie arrived with J.J., Julie said she was thrilled to officiate the wedding. The processional started, and everyone took their places. Rafe walked Gabi down the aisle.
"Marriage. It should not be entered into lightly, but reverently and with true belief in one another. Into this holy agreement, Eli and Gabi come together to be joined. If anyone here can show just cause why these two here should not be joined together, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace. And they'll have to deal with me," Julie said. The audience laughed. When there were no objections, Julie continued with the ceremony. Julie administered the first part of the vows, and Eli and Gabi said, "I do."
When Julie asked for the rings, J.J. was distracted and did not notice. Eli nudged his best man. After a frantic moment of searching his pockets, J.J. found the rings and handed them to Eli. "What's a Salem wedding without a little drama," Julie joked. Gabi placed a ring on Eli's finger and said her vows. Eli did the same with Gabi.
"Inasmuch as Gabi and Eli have consented together in the union of matrimony and pledge their belief in each other, in the presence of these witnesses, I now pronounce them," Julie said. "Don't you say another word!" Lani objected as she walked into the square, dressed in her nun costume.