At the hospital, John appreciatively noted that Steve, who was filling two mugs with scotch, had bought "the good stuff" as a holiday peace offering.
Steve and John toasted to their friendship then settled on the couch in Kayla's office. "Can't tell you how much it means to me that you're here -- that you've accepted my gift," Steve stressed. "Well, to be honest with ya...I wasn't gonna at first," John admitted before telling Steve about Marlena's take on the matter. "Smart woman," Steve raved.
"[She's right] -- I don't want to lose your friendship -- but I need to make my feelings clear --" John began to clarify. "Wouldn't expect anything less," Steve interjected. "I can understand you standing by your son...but I can't understand you standing by the lie -- that's not you, man; that's not who you are!" John continued. "So, if you would respect our friendship enough to go with the truth and admit what the evidence confirms -- that Tripp raped Allie -- then we can move on from this," John concluded.
"Sorry -- I can't do that," Steve insisted. "All right -- well, if that's your attitude, there's really nothing more to talk about here..." John countered before starting to storm off. "What you just said about respecting our friendship -- can you respect it enough to let me explain?" Steve called out, stopping John, who reluctantly agreed to play along.
"Maybe you better go easy on that scotch," John advised after Steve finished talking. "I know [my theory is] out there -- Kayla said the same thing -- but if there's even the slightest chance that it could be true, don't you want the bastard who raped your granddaughter to pay for his crime?" Steve challenged John -- who agreed, after more thought and more scotch, that Black Patch Investigations needed to solve the mystery, one way or another. "[Ava] got a brother, cousin, nephew...?" John asked. "Why didn't I think of this before..." Steve replied. "Interesting theory -- definitely a close relative..." John conceded after Steve elaborated. "It's a start..." Steve declared.
At the Horton Town Square, Will and Kate caught up with each other over cups of coffee -- then started talking about Allie. "It seems to me that she's really adjusting to motherhood. She's amazing with Henry -- I mean, she's head over heels for the little guy," Will declared. "He's a great 'little guy' -- conceived in the worst possible way..." Kate grumbled.
"Let's not focus on that anymore, okay?" Will suggested, squirming uncomfortably. "How are we supposed to 'not focus on' that? Tripp Dalton should be behind bars -- and instead, he's running around Salem, free as a bird, enjoying his life, [while] Allie's life has been completely derailed!" Kate argued. "I know...[and], for what it's worth, Grandma, I agree with you -- for Tripp to be running around free, it's a...it's a travesty," Will conceded. "Honey, everyone agrees with that...except for Steve," Kate stressed.
Will wondered if Kate had ever considered confronting Tripp. "Not that I'm encouraging that, mind you..." Will quickly clarified, chuckling nervously. "I do think about looking him straight in the eye and telling him exactly what I think about him...[but] then I realize that if I got that close to him, I'd probably shred him with my bare hands," Kate admitted.
As if on cue, Tripp passed through the area just then, in the process of hanging missing-person fliers -- but Will intervened before Kate could do anything. "Look, I don't know how many different ways I can tell you and everyone else in your family, but I didn't do what Allie's accused me of, okay? And if I did, I would admit it, all right? If I was that kid's father, I would own up to it! But I didn't hurt Allie, and that baby isn't mine!" Tripp stressed. "The more you deny it, the guiltier you sound, so just stay away from my family, okay? Shouldn't be too hard for a coward like you!" Will countered. "Get the hell out of Salem -- and stay away!" Kate snapped.
Allie said goodbye to Marlena then started to leave the Evans-Black townhouse with Henry -- just as Lucas arrived. "I texted him that I'd come to see you," Allie explained to Marlena. "Thank you for telling me where you were," Lucas said to Allie. "Well, I wish you'd told me where you were -- I was kind of worried [when you disappeared from the pub earlier]," Allie admitted to Lucas.
"I went to find Tripp," Lucas revealed before starting to elaborate. "Thank God [that] Rafe came by! How could you do a thing like that?" Marlena snapped at the end of the tale. "Did you tell her the same thing?" Lucas defensively challenged Marlena while gesturing to Allie. "Sorry," Lucas sheepishly said to Allie after getting a look of confusion from Marlena.
Marlena couldn't believe that Lucas was not only proud of Allie but was also annoyed with both Ava and Rafe for having ruined two perfect opportunities for bodily harm to be inflicted on Tripp. Marlena insisted that Allie and Lucas had both tried to handle the situation the wrong way -- and were lucky to have had their respective attempts thwarted. Allie immediately conceded that Marlena was right -- and, eventually, Lucas grudgingly agreed.
Satisfied, Marlena informed Lucas that there was actually a legitimate reason to be proud of Allie. "I'm filing a civil suit against [Tripp]," Allie translated. "Well, at least he'll have some financial responsibilities to answer to -- I mean, it's not the same as going to prison, but...you know, at least everyone will know what he's about; they'll see him for what he really is," Lucas mused.
Henry started crying just then, and Lucas volunteered to handle the matter. "I'm gonna miss you, little guy..." Lucas said after Henry settled down. "Are you going somewhere?" Marlena asked. "I just have a little business trip I have to go on...but I won't be gone that long," Lucas replied.
Steve went to the Vitali apartment to see Tripp, who was still worried about Ava -- and was still reeling from the earlier encounters with not just Lucas but also Will and Kate. "When I find my mom, we'll take off -- you know, just get out of town. Everyone hates her, too, so it makes sense," Tripp decided. "You're staying right here -- because I've got good news," Steve countered.
"What relative?" Tripp asked while Steve was in the process of explaining everything.
At the Dale apartment, Charlie fearfully dropped both ends of the fabric that, if not for Claire's interruption, likely would have been not only gagging but also strangling Ava at that moment. "How does she know where I live?" Charlie quietly fretted to Ava as Claire continued knocking on the apartment door and calling out greetings.
Ava continued screaming for help through the gag as Charlie leaned against the apartment door and hesitantly returned one of Claire's greetings. "What are you doing here?" Charlie stammered. "Well, I'm worried about you -- you looked so pale when you left on Christmas Eve, and then you didn't return my call..." Claire explained. "I'm still not feeling so good..." Charlie claimed. "Which is exactly why you need some TLC!" Claire argued. "You're the best...but I would really hate to give you whatever this is that I have..." Charlie stressed. "Don't worry about me -- I have a very strong immune system!" Claire bragged.
"I just really want to see for myself that you're all right...[I mean], unless you don't want to see me..." Claire challenged Charlie. "Of course, I do..." Charlie insisted. "Then let me in already!" Claire begged. "I just...I really, really don't want to get you sick..." Charlie reiterated. "I'm not afraid of catching a little cold!" Claire countered.
"All right -- just give me a minute to...clean up this mess..." Charlie said to Claire while glaring at Ava, who was still screaming for help through the gag. "Not [another] sound, or you'll be sorry..." Charlie stressed while moving Ava to a bedroom. After shutting the bedroom door, Charlie returned to the living room and turned on some music to drown out any future screams for help, sensing that Ava wouldn't heed the warning. Next, Charlie hastily hid the remains of Ava's bowl of oatmeal. Finally, Charlie donned a pair of glasses and took a deep breath -- then opened the apartment door and greeted Claire with a smile.
"Wow -- nice place!" Claire raved after entering Charlie's apartment. "How did you know where I lived?" Charlie stammered. "You work for my great-grandfather -- it wasn't exactly hard to find out," Claire explained. "Oh, yeah -- of course..." Charlie muttered. "You look a little sweaty..." Claire observed. "Uh...yeah, I...think I just have a little bit of a fever still -- I'm not 100%, like I said..." Charlie claimed.
"So weird -- I mean, you were totally fine when you got to my grandma's for Christmas Eve..." Claire mused. "I guess it just hit me all of a sudden," Charlie reasoned. "Well, at least you're really sick!" Claire raved. "Excuse me?" Charlie stammered. "Sorry, that came out wrong -- I just meant that...when you left so quickly, and then you didn't return my call, I just thought that maybe you were blowing me off," Claire explained. "I would never do that -- you're great; you're an angel!" Charlie declared. "You are!" Claire insisted before gushing about Charlie's talent for picking out the perfect gift.
Claire handed Charlie a gift bag while apologetically admitting that only one of them possessed that talent. "[So, this gift] is not nearly as cool...[but I was still] feeling kind of bad because you weren't gonna get to open [it] on Christmas, [so] Allie suggested that I come here [and] surprise you [with it]," Claire revealed. "Allie..." Charlie grumbled. "She knows all about you!" Claire teasingly warned.
"So, how about the grand tour?" Claire prodded Charlie, already starting to walk around the apartment. "No!" Charlie shouted, stopping Claire, who was clearly confused.
"The place is a mess, [and] there's dirty dishes in the sink, [and] I put all my clothes in my bedroom before you got here, [so] I would just like some time to clean up -- you know, I don't want you to think I'm a total slob..." Charlie stammered. "I don't care if it's clean or not!" Claire insisted.
"But there is definitely something wrong..." Claire observed while looking around the apartment, prompting Charlie to nervously probe for clarification of the statement -- then breathe a sigh of relief after realizing that it had simply been an acknowledgement of the fact that the place was devoid of Christmas decorations. "Work just keeps me so busy that I didn't have time..." Charlie explained.
Charlie quickly changed the subject, reminding Claire that there was a Christmas gift in the apartment that needed to be opened, at the very least. "I spilled that smoothie all over you [during our first meeting, so]...what better gift than to replace the shirt I ruined," Claire reasoned as Charlie peeked inside the gift bag. "You didn't ruin anything -- if that hadn't happened, then I would have walked right past the sweetest, most beautiful girl in the world," Charlie argued while locking eyes with Claire, who flirtatiously demanded proof that the shirt was the right size.
"You know, there is one more Christmas gift I really want to give you..." Claire seductively declared after Charlie changed shirts. "You have no idea how much I want that...but I can't risk you getting that bug that I have -- if you got it, I would never forgive myself," Charlie stammered. "You are such a good guy!" Claire raved. "You really think so?" Charlie asked. "I know so," Claire replied.
Just then, Ava kicked over a metal trash can -- which fell to the hardwood floor with a clang that was so loud that Claire and Charlie both heard it over the music that was still playing. "That's just the pipes -- they make a lot of noise when they turn on..." Charlie stammered before chasing Claire off, claiming to have suddenly started feeling sick again. "Is there something else going on with you?" Claire wondered. "No -- everything's fine..." Charlie insisted. "You just seem a little tense -- like there's something on your mind," Claire observed. "It's just work stuff -- you know, the usual..." Charlie claimed.
Claire nodded then left the apartment with a hint of skepticism -- and, as soon as the coast was clear, Charlie breathed a sigh of relief then moved Ava back into the living room.
"What the hell did I tell you about not making a sound?" Charlie snapped while removing Ava's gag. "Well, I don't always do what I'm told," Ava admitted with a shrug before demanding to know if Charlie really thought that murder was an appropriate punishment for the act of defiance. "I should [kill you] after what you pulled...but I'm not a murderer," Charlie decided. "Yeah, I heard -- Claire thinks you're 'a good guy.' Heh -- if only she knew..." Ava mused. "Would you shut up!" Charlie snapped. "Claire gets me -- who I am, who I want to be for her..." Charlie gushed. "So, I can't exactly kill my mother," Charlie conceded with a sigh.
"The problem is...what the hell do I do with you?" Charlie wondered while trading glares with Ava.
Abigail has a theory about Kate's affair
Philip visited Chloe at Basic Black to return her wool hat that she had left at the Kiriakis mansion. "You didn't have to come all this way just to return my hat, but I'm glad you did," Chloe said. Chloe asked Philip about Brady's request to rent warehouse space. Philip said he had declined the request because Titan was a competitor of Basic Black.
"Aren't you the one who said you're not afraid of a little healthy competition?" Chloe countered. Philip argued that competition was not the same as helping a competitor. Chloe accused Philip of refusing the request because he did not like Brady. "It was strictly a business decision," Philip stressed. Chloe asked Philip to look her in the eyes. Reluctantly, Philip met Chloe's gaze.
"We would like to rent your warehouses to store some of our merchandise, and we will pay you handsomely. What do you say?" Chloe said. With a grin, Philip said that the request was unfair because Chloe knew that he had a hard time saying no to her. "It's a deal," Philip said as he shook Chloe's hand. Chloe thanked Philip, and she offered him tickets to the DiMera New Year's Eve party.
"Are you asking me on a date?" Philip asked. Chloe clarified that she was not able to go, and that was why she had offered the tickets. "I thought you'd want to go with Sarah. You two are a thing, right?" Chloe said. "Sort of, I guess," Philip said. Philip lied and noted that the relationship was new. "[Sarah] doesn't seem like your type," Chloe said. Philip agreed. Philip took the tickets, and he asked Chloe about her plans. Chloe said she had no plans. Philip wished Chloe well.
In the Kiriakis living room, Sarah called Xander on the phone and talked to him as she broke into Philip's briefcase. "Just be careful," Xander warned. Sarah noted that Philip was out of the house and that there was no danger to her downloading financial data off of Philip's computer. With a groan, Xander wondered aloud if Philip had left to meet up with Ava.
"I still can't believe that they are working together. Once I have that proof that [Philip] is embezzling from Titan, then we have everything we need," Sarah said. "And I can give Philip the boot for good, and we can stop pretending to be broken up. Every minute apart from you is torture," Xander said. Sarah smiled and told Xander to leave her alone so she could gather information. Sarah inserted a thumb drive into the computer, and she heard someone clear their throat behind her.
"What are you up to?" Brady asked. "Brady! I didn't hear you come in," Sarah said as she closed the laptop. Brady explained that he had dropped Maggie off, and he had stayed to help carry some boxes for her. "Are you avoiding my question?" Brady asked. Sarah played dumb, but Brady pointed at the computer. Sarah lied and said that she had been downloading a file on her laptop.
"It just feels like you were startled when I came in," Brady said. With a nod, Sarah said that was because she had thought she was alone in the house. "Why are you doing work on New Year's Eve?" Brady asked. Sarah said she had nothing better to do. "I heard what happened with Xander. I'm sorry," Brady said. With a knitted brow, Brady added that he actually was not sorry.
"You are way too good for that scum, anyway," Brady said. "Whoa! Xander is not scum!" Sarah protested. Brady apologized. Confused, Brady asked Sarah why she had defended Xander. Sarah said that though her relationship with Xander was over, she did not want to hear Brady call Xander names. Brady chuckled and called Xander a few more names before he wished Sarah a happy New Year and left. Once Brady was gone, Sarah opened up the laptop again.
Once the files were copied, Sarah replaced the laptop in the briefcase. Philip returned home, and he asked Sarah to go with him to the DiMera New Year's Eve party. "I have plans tonight," Sarah said. Sarah added that she was not ready for another relationship. "I just meant we could go as friends," Philip said. Sarah said that she knew Philip was attracted to her, and she wanted to be honest with him.
"I don't see it happening between us," Sarah said. "Thanks for being honest," Philip said. Sarah asked if there were hard feelings, and Philip said he was fine. Sarah encouraged Philip to find another date for the party. With a grin, Sarah hurried out of the house.
Brady returned to Basic Black, and Chloe was still working. Brady ordered Chloe to go home. "Can I point out that you're here, too?" Chloe said. Brady explained that he wanted to keep busy so that he did not think about being alone. Chloe told Brady that she had convinced Philip to give them the warehouse space. When Brady asked Chloe about her plans for the evening, she said she had given her party tickets to Philip. Brady suggested that Chloe go with him to the party.
Xander entered the Brady Pub, and he saw a forlorn-looking Jack drinking alone. Xander asked what was wrong. "It's New Year's Eve, chum, and I'm not spending it with my wife," Jack said. Xander sat at the table with Jack. "You love your wife, and to be fair, she was in a coma with little hope of recovery," Xander added. Jack told Xander that Jennifer was angry about the lie, not the affair.
"Would anybody [come clean] if they didn't have to?" Xander asked. "Said one habitual liar sticking up for another," Jack countered. "I'm reformed. Mostly," Xander objected. Jack noted that he thought he had reformed, too, but he was not so sure anymore. Xander reminded Jack that Jack had encouraged Xander to fight for Sarah, and he had been successful, thanks to Jack's advice.
"I'm known for giving terrible advice and bad judgment in general," Jack muttered. Jack asked Xander if he was happy with Sarah. "Not so much. We broke up again," Xander admitted. "After all that, you and Sarah broke up, anyway?" Jack asked. Xander shrugged. When Jack asked why, Xander noted that the situation was complicated.
"And here I was looking at your success as my inspiration. Your victory is only temporary, at best," Jack said. Xander noted that he believed he would get back together with Sarah once he had dealt with Philip. "Still not giving up?" Jack asked. "Never. And you shouldn't give up on Jennifer, either," Xander advised Jack. Jack confirmed that he refused to give up on Jennifer.
When Xander returned to his room at the Salem Inn, Sarah was lying on the bed. Sarah held up the thumb drive. "Happy New Year, Xander," Sarah said.
At the Horton house, Abigail offered Jennifer a dress bag. "I bought you the perfect dress. And you're going to take it, and you are going to go upstairs and put it on because you are coming with me to the DiMera New Year's Eve party," Abigail said. Jennifer asked Abigail if Jack would be at the party. When Abigail noted that Jack was covering the party for the newspaper, Jennifer told her daughter it was a bad idea for Jennifer to attend.
"You're going to have to accept that no matter how much your father and I love each other, we're just not meant to be together," Jennifer said. Abigail asked Jennifer if that meant that she had given up on Jack. Jennifer explained that she was scared of getting hurt again. "What if you guys can be happy again?" Abigail asked. Jennifer showed Abigail the hourglass that Jack had given her for Christmas.
"How do I know [Jack] is telling the truth? That he only slept with Kate that one time?" Jennifer wondered aloud. Abigail stressed that Jack and Kate's affair had been over for months. With a sigh, Jennifer told Abigail about her suspicions that the affair was still ongoing. Jennifer noted that she had learned that Kate was involved with someone at the DiMera mansion whose first name started with the letter J.
"I don't believe it," Abigail said. Jennifer told Abigail about her investigation with Lucas. "If it wasn't Jack, then who could Kate have been seeing?" Jennifer asked. Abigail gasped. "I know who it is!" Abigail said.
"And it's not your father?" Jennifer asked. "No!" Abigail said firmly. When Abigail listed the evidence, Jennifer realized that Jake was likely Kate's new paramour. "Jake and Kate, that just explains so many things. For starters, it explains why Chad thinks Jake is having an affair with me," Abigail said. Abigail told Jennifer about Chad's accusations.
"You need to go home and explain to Chad what you just figured out, and put this misunderstanding to bed right away," Jennifer said. Abigail said she needed to finish setting up for the party first, but she intended to talk to Chad that night. Abigail asked Jennifer to meet her at the party. "It is time to work it out with [Jack]," Abigail said. Jennifer agreed to think about the invite.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad yelled at someone on the phone about a contract. As Chad ended his call, Kate said, "You do know that tomorrow is a national holiday, right?" Kate asked Chad what was really bothering him. "Jake is trying to steal my wife, and I'm not gonna sit by and let it happen," Chad said. Kate told Chad that she knew Jake was not after Abigail.
"Jake is not Stefan," Kate stressed. "He might be worse," Chad countered. When Kate called Chad paranoid, Chad argued that the bracelet had clearly not been intended for Gwen. "I have sensed something going on for a while now, all right? There is a voice in my head, telling me that something isn't right," Chad said. Chad yelled that he was certain that Jake was sleeping with someone in the house.
"It's not Gwen! It's not Gabi! That only leaves my wife," Chad said. After a deep sigh, Kate announced that she had been keeping an eye on Jake, and she had not seen any evidence of an affair between Jake and Abigail.
"Then you're not paying attention!" Chad yelled. Kate said she had gotten to know Jake, but Chad yelled at her to stop defending Jake. "I need you to be on my side. You haven't always been," Chad said. Kate swore that she was on Chad's side, and she would not jeopardize her relationship with him.
Upstairs, Gwen called a hotel and made a reservation under Abigail's name. Jake burst into the room. "I know what you are up to, Gwen! You are not going to get away with it!" Jake yelled. Gwen discreetly ended her call, and then she yelled at Jake for not knocking. As Jake accused Gwen of stealing his present for Kate from Kate's room, Gwen held up her wrist so that Jake could watch her fondle the bracelet he had intended to give to Kate. Jake argued that Gwen had taken the bracelet in an attempt to make it look like Jake was involved in an affair with Abigail.
"I don't know why you are trying so hard to make [Abigail's] life miserable. What the hell did she ever do to you?" Jake asked. "Abigail never did anything to me. She treats me like a member of the family," Gwen said. Gwen warned Jake not to involve her in any conspiracy theories. Jake demanded that Gwen give him back the bracelet -- or else he would tell Abigail about Gwen's suspicious behavior.
"The one that you gave to me to make up for all that pain and suffering you caused me?" Gwen asked as she rattled the bracelet in front of Jake's face. "You know I bought that bracelet for Kate," Jake growled. With a grin, Gwen noted that Jake could not give the bracelet to Kate since Chad had seen it.
"You're the reason Chad hates me. Give me the bracelet back," Jake said as he grabbed Gwen's wrist. Gwen struggled to break free of Jake's grip, but she was unable. Gwen gave the bracelet back to Jake, but she said she wanted it back when Kate dumped Jake. After Jake left, Gwen called the hotel back to finish her reservation, and she asked for a romance package for the room.
As Gwen ended her call, Chad knocked on her door and asked to talk. Chad informed Gwen that he had secured a babysitter to stay the night so that Gwen could spend the evening out. When Chad complimented Gwen's dress, he suggested that Gwen should wear Jake's bracelet with the dress. Gwen's eyes darted away, and she said she had thrown the bracelet away in anger.
"That's not true, is it?" Chad asked. "Jake took it back," Gwen admitted. When Chad asked why, Gwen said that Jake had told her that the bracelet was not for her. "He bought it for Abigail," Chad said. With a nod yes, Gwen told Chad she was sorry.
Downstairs, Jake complimented Kate as he walked into the living room. "I see you're wearing my Christmas tie," Kate said. "And I'm hoping that you will wear the gift that I got for you. Sorry I couldn't give it to you," Jake said as he pulled the bracelet out of his pocket. Kate smiled at Jake, and she told him she could not wear the bracelet because Chad might see it.
"I'm tired of sneaking around behind [Chad's] back. He's already suspicious. He knows I'm sleeping with somebody," Jake said. "He suspects you're sleeping with his wife," Kate noted. Kate argued that Chad was already upset, and Chad would see Kate's relationship with Jake as a betrayal. Jake argued that he did not care about Chad's feelings.
"I also don't want to see you hurt, so I'll keep my distance tonight, okay?" Jake said. Kate thanked Jake. Jake added that he understood that Kate could not wear the bracelet to the party, but he hoped that she would wear it later. "I'm hoping it is the only thing you're gonna be wearing," Jake whispered to Kate as he got closer to her. As Kate giggled, Jake leaned in and kissed her neck.
When Jake arrived at the restaurant above the square, Abigail was setting up for the party alone. Jake offered to help Abigail, but she asked for the truth instead. "You and Kate are sleeping together," Abigail said. Jake laughed nervously.
In the DiMera living room, Kate stood by the fire and shoved Jake's bracelet into her purse. Jack walked in. "I didn't know that you were going to the party," Kate said. "I didn't know that you were going to the party, either," Jack countered. Kate asked Jack if it was a problem for him. With a shrug, Jack noted that Jennifer would likely not be at the party.
Residents of Salem ring in the New Year together
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie entered the living room and greeted Philip, who was glaring at the pair of tickets that Chloe had passed along earlier. "Whatever you're looking at doesn't seem to be pleasing you," Maggie observed. "Two tickets to the DiMera New Year's Eve party," Philip grumbled. "[You're] mad at tickets?" Maggie incredulously summarized. "No, I'm not mad at them," Philip vaguely clarified.
Still confused, Maggie wondered who was going to be attending the event as Philip's date. "As it turns out...no one," Philip admitted with a sigh before walking over to the bar and filling a glass with whiskey. "Would you and Victor like these [tickets]?" Philip asked. "Would Victor and I like to attend a DiMera party? Um...thanks, [but]...no, I don't think so," Maggie replied. "[But] there's bound to be a certain number of single ladies at the party -- why not go stag?" Maggie challenged Philip.
At Basic Black, Chloe admitted to having serious concerns about attending a New Year's Eve party as Brady's plus-one. "I don't know that I want Kristen DiMera to find out that I was going out with her man while she was in prison -- she's been known to...react badly to those things..." Chloe fretted. "Point taken -- but, listen, it's not like we're 'going out' to the party; [it's] just the two of us going as friends, and I don't think Kristen would have a problem with that," Brady countered.
"[But if] you want to hold out for a better offer..." Brady conceded. "Oh -- uh, yes, I have hundreds of those; the phone is just...ringing off the hook..." Chloe joked. "Okay, well, do me a favor -- call all those guys and tell them that you're not available 'cause you're going with me," Brady requested. "I think, after everything that's happened this year, we deserve a little fun," Brady argued -- and, after giving the matter a bit more thought, Chloe agreed and accepted the invitation.
At the Horton house, Jennifer received a visit from Will, who was carrying a small stack of gift boxes. "Since I couldn't make it for Christmas Eve, I figured I'd just drop these off," Will explained. "Aw, that's so lovely -- thank you! I had something for you, Sonny, and Ari, but I've already mailed it to Arizona," Jennifer replied. "Oh -- well, something to look forward to!" Will mused.
"You were hoping it was someone else at your door," Will guessed. "You got me -- I was a little taken aback -- but [this is] a really nice surprise," Jennifer conceded. "So...New Year's Eve -- I take it you and Jack don't have any big plans for the night..." Will assumed. "I don't have any plans at all," Jennifer admitted. "Yeah... Maybe I shouldn't say this, but...I'm sorry -- I heard what happened with Jack and my grandmother..." Will revealed. "So did a whole roomful of people," Jennifer stressed. "That must have really sucked," Will summarized. "That would be the understatement of the century," Jennifer confirmed.
"For what it's worth, there were more than a few times when I thought that Sonny and I were through and there was no way back -- yet there was, and now we're good," Will pointed out. "Abigail's been telling me the same thing -- she bought me a dress, wants me to go to the DiMera party... Jack's gonna be there... I don't know -- I think she's just trying to shove us back together, [and] I don't think that's gonna work," Jennifer admitted. "Well, I mean, you'll never know unless you go...[and going] doesn't put the two of you back together -- [in fact], you don't even have to stay until midnight," Will advised. "I know..." Jennifer conceded.
"But you're still not sure. And, I mean, after the previous party, I completely understand you not being thrilled about another one --" Will acknowledged. "[Which is] gonna be pretty much the same cast of characters!" Jennifer fretted. "Okay, I'm gonna say something that might be way out of line, but...[look, if] you walked away from your marriage, that means you can walk back -- not because Jack wants you to, or Abigail, but...if you want to, there's nothing stopping you," Will reasoned with a shrug before saying goodbye to Jennifer then rushing off.
At the DiMera mansion, Jack filled a glass with whiskey while confiding in Kate about everything that had -- and, more to the point, hadn't -- happened with Jennifer since Christmas Eve. Kate supportively insisted that the bottom line was that Jennifer had accepted a Christmas gift from Jack -- and that had to be a good sign, even if the estranged couple hadn't interacted with each other at all since that exchange.
"So, what'd you get her?" Kate asked before preemptively starting to list the most obvious potential answers -- a necklace, a bracelet -- then somewhat derisively conceding that Jennifer might prefer a tiara. "I...got her...an hourglass," Jack replied. "Well, that's sure to sweep a girl off her feet..." Kate sarcastically mused. "And a note!" Jack added. "Oh -- an hourglass and a note! Well, why not a gift certificate for a tire rotation, [too -- would that have been] overkill?" Kate dryly countered. "The note explained the meaning of the hourglass -- which was...I wished I could turn back time," Jack clarified. "You quoted Cher!" Kate summarized, swooning dramatically. "I'm glad you find this all so amusing," Jack grumbled. "It is amusing!" Kate insisted.
"[Well, in any case], I guess she didn't like it -- [or], for all I know, she just left it in the box and threw it away, just like she threw away our marriage..." Jack fretted before taking a big gulp of whiskey. "Jennifer -- and I am saying this with all respect -- is judgmental, unforgiving, and self-righteous!" Kate declared. "Wow -- what do you say about people you don't respect?" Jack wondered. "You're suffering, Jack -- and I feel badly because I feel responsible, but there's nothing that I can do because of exactly what Jennifer is!" Kate stressed.
"Look, I don't want to talk about this anymore, all right? I just want to go to this party, have a great time, and act like my life doesn't suck," Jack insisted before starting to rush off. "Well, that's one thing -- next year will have to be a whole lot better than this one..." Kate muttered while following Jack out of the mansion.
Will entered the Kiriakis mansion and greeted Maggie, who was preparing to celebrate New Year's Eve privately with Victor. "I just wanted to tell you that I am headed back to Arizona tomorrow," Will explained. "Oh, honey -- I'm sorry! Oh, but I am glad that you could stay with us, at least briefly. It's too bad Sonny couldn't join you..." Maggie replied. "Yeah, I know -- he's kind of overwhelmed at work, unfortunately, but he's gonna try and visit early in the year," Will revealed. "Oh, good -- I'm sure Justin and Victor will love that...[and] so will I," Maggie declared.
"So, what are you doing for this evening?" Maggie wondered. "I have no plans, actually -- I was hoping to ring in the New Year with Sonny, but --" Will admitted. "Why can't you?" Maggie argued. "Because he's in Arizona, and I'm [over] here in Salem --" Will stressed. "Now, Will -- you really should be embarrassed that I'm the one who has to tell you that that shouldn't prevent you from being with him on New Year's Eve...or any other time! And it won't!" Maggie countered before rushing off to another room -- then returning to the living room a short time later with a laptop.
"Do you do 'video chat,' or do I need to guide you through it? I mean, I video chat with Melanie and Parker all the time..." Maggie somewhat teasingly challenged Will. "I think I can figure it out -- thank you," Will replied. "All right -- well, now you can ring in the New Year with your wonderful husband, okay? And I will go and give you some privacy!" Maggie declared before rushing off to another room again.
Once the coast was clear, Will started a videoconference with Sonny. "I was gonna wait 'til later to 'see' you, but I figured we might as well do it now...because Maggie was very pleased with herself that she thought of the idea. [See], I came over to tell her and Victor that I'm going back to Arizona tomorrow, and she was very concerned that we weren't ringing in the New Year together, so she had the wonderful idea that we could 'video chat' -- and I did not have the heart to tell her that we do that every day and that, of course, we'd do it on New Year's Eve," Will explained to Sonny with a grin.
"So, how's it going over there?" Will asked. "It's good -- you know, just busy working, and I'm missing you a lot..." Sonny replied. "Same here -- but I'll be home in...less than 21 hours!" Will stressed. "But who's counting, right?" Sonny joked.
"This morning, I was going through some of those cartons that we still haven't unpacked from our move, and this turned up -- [you know], my New Year's resolution box!" Sonny explained while showing Will the decorative tin can. "Good timing," Will mused. "Yes!" Sonny agreed before starting to read aloud some of the past resolutions -- which were all about Will and had all been fulfilled.
Will noted that Sonny had an impressive track record to uphold. Sonny admitted that it wasn't really fair to take credit for having fulfilled the previous year's resolution -- "Find a way to forgive Will so that we can be together again" -- because, in the end, there had been nothing to forgive, anyway. "Are you kidding me? I mean, even when our marriage was falling apart, and I told you I wanted a divorce, you never gave up on us!" Will protested. "Babe, I will never give up on us!" Sonny stressed.
Sonny excitedly admitted to having planned a special dinner for the following day to welcome Will back. "You know, we've only been in Arizona for a few months, but it already feels like home," Will declared. "Anywhere we're together feels like home to me," Sonny replied. "Yeah, I agree -- [and] I can't wait to see what the new year brings," Will admitted, prompting Sonny to teasingly show off the folded piece of paper on which the next resolution had been written. "I'll tell you [what it is]...a year from tonight," Sonny promised Will with a grin.
At the Bistro, Abigail finished listing the clues that suggested that Jake was Kate's new mystery man. "You would have made a hell of a detective," Jake observed. "Investigative reporter -- same difference," Abigail stressed. Jake gulped down a full serving of Champagne then admitted that Abigail's theory about Kate's new mystery man was correct. "What's it to you?" Jake asked Abigail defensively.
Just then, Brady and Chloe entered the restaurant together -- and simultaneously froze in shock at the sight of Stefan's look-alike, prompting Abigail to helpfully clarify the situation as Jake tiredly waited for a change of topic. "I guess, after living in Salem, we should be used to this kind of thing," Brady said to Chloe, who agreed with a chuckle.
Chloe and Brady eventually said goodbye to Abigail and Jake then headed off in search of a table -- but Jake didn't even have time to breathe a sigh of relief before Abigail resumed their earlier conversation. "You [and Kate] are consenting adults, [so] why is [your relationship] such a big secret?" Abigail wondered. "Because Chad hates me, and Kate knows that he would feel betrayed if he found out that she was sleeping with the enemy," Jake explained. "[Well], all of your skulking around the mansion didn't go unnoticed, and now Chad thinks I'm the object of your affection, [so]...tell him the truth," Abigail demanded.
"Tonight?" Jake asked incredulously. "Well, part of me would love to let him stew a little while longer -- you know, I'm not exactly thrilled he thinks I'd throw away my marriage for...you..." Abigail bitterly replied. "You say that like I'm Jeffrey Dahmer!" Jake protested. "But I know the longer I let him stew, the worse it's gonna get, so..." Abigail reasoned.
Abigail rushed out of the restaurant in search of Chad -- and Jake followed, wanting to warn Kate that their secret was out.
At the DiMera mansion, Gwen supportively tried to assure Chad that Jake's decision to buy an extravagant Christmas gift for Abigail didn't necessarily mean that they were sleeping together. Chad remained concerned that Abigail was being unfaithful, arguing that Jake certainly didn't seem like the type of guy who would chase after a woman without some sort of encouragement from that woman -- and Gwen made a show of reluctantly conceding the point then quickly reiterated that there could be a perfectly innocent explanation for everything that had happened.
"I overheard [Jake] telling you to keep your mouth shut [at one point, remember]? There is something that he [doesn't] want me to know! You covered for him [then] by saying that it was about [him] taking his rightful place at DiMera, [but] was that [really] what he wanted you to keep quiet about?" Chad challenged Gwen. "No -- it was about the fact that I had seen him and Abigail...kissing," Gwen claimed, again making it seem like Chad was forcing a difficult confession to the surface. "And you didn't say anything?" Chad snapped. "Jake, he threatened me -- [and] he carries through with his threats; [I mean], he was involved in the mob!" Gwen fearfully explained.
"[But], mainly, I just thought that Abigail would wake up and see who Jake really is, and then realize what a wonderful man she had married...so, I just decided to keep my mouth shut -- because I did not want to be responsible for breaking up your marriage," Gwen apologetically added. "I can't believe... Here, in my house, with my kids... I'm gonna kill him!" Chad stammered before storming off.
Philip entered the Bistro alone, looking miserable -- then perked up after spotting Chloe.
"Where's Sarah?" Chloe asked. "Turns out I might have misjudged the whole 'me and Sarah' thing," Philip admitted. "You, overestimating your charm? When people say 'Philip Kiriakis,' the word 'self-deprecating' comes to mind!" Chloe joked. "I'm in pain here!" Philip protested. "Come on -- 'pain' is when you lose the love of your life, not when you get turned down for a date! Besides...what, did you think you were gonna ride off into the sunset together?" Chloe countered. "No -- I just thought we'd get to know each other a little better..." Philip clarified. "In the biblical sense," Chloe guessed. "Right... Well, she wasn't ready to jump into another relationship," Philip explained. "Or your bed," Chloe concluded.
"You're in a real party mood..." Philip observed with a chuckle before wondering why Chloe had decided to attend the New Year's Eve party, after all -- and how an extra ticket had been secured on such short notice. "I am his plus-one," Chloe revealed as Brady, who had been at the bar, approached with two glasses of sparkling cider. Philip forced a smile and greeted Brady with a nod -- then pointedly wondered if Kristen would approve. "I think Kristen would understand that I appreciate spending time with my friends...which is exactly what Chloe is -- not that it's any of your business," Brady replied. "Always fun chatting with you, Philip," Chloe added. Philip forced another smile then rushed off to the bar.
Kate soon entered the restaurant with Jack, and they each quickly claimed a glass of Champagne then toasted to the new year -- just as Jennifer arrived. "I shouldn't have come," Jennifer decided before starting to rush back out of the restaurant, but Jack objected -- then clarified that Kate was a car pool companion, not a date. "You came -- you knew I'd be here, and you came!" Jack raved. "I wasn't thinking of coming -- in fact, I almost didn't..." Jennifer admitted. "What changed your mind?" Jack asked. "You -- and the hourglass. I was looking at it and thinking of all the hours we've spent apart... I don't want to lose any more time with you," Jennifer replied.
Kate went to the bar and ordered a martini -- and Philip approached a short time later. "Is that helping?" Philip asked. "It's not hurting," Kate replied.
"Something wrong?" Kate wondered. "I just didn't expect to be alone tonight," Philip admitted. "Yeah -- me, too..." Kate grumbled.
Chad soon entered the restaurant with Gwen -- and learned, during a conversation with Chloe and Brady, that Abigail and Jake had left together earlier. "Where the hell could they have gone..." Chad grumbled after gulping down two full servings of Champagne -- and Gwen made a show of reluctantly admitting to having overheard Abigail booking a room at the Salem Inn earlier. "You didn't think that I should know that?" Chad snapped. "Well, I thought it was for the two of you..." Gwen explained. "No -- obviously, that's not what she had in mind..." Chad declared before gulping down another full serving of Champagne then storming off, with Gwen close behind.
Abigail and Jake entered the DiMera mansion together and started searching for Chad and Kate -- but found neither person there. Jake decided to head back to the party, but Abigail chose to stay behind.
At the Salem Inn, Gwen halfheartedly voiced objections as Chad asked the clerk at the front desk for a key to Abigail's room then stormed off to it -- and found that it was otherwise unoccupied but was definitely set up for a romantic rendezvous. Seconds later, Abigail placed a call to Chad's cell phone, but Chad was in the process of searching the bathroom at that point -- and had left the device on the desk in the main part of the room, where Gwen was waiting. Gwen silenced Chad's cell phone and hid it under a magazine.
"She's not here -- yet..." Chad said to Gwen after emerging from the bathroom. "Maybe this is all a big misunderstanding..." Gwen suggested. "They're on their way here -- and I'll be right here waiting for them," Chad declared before opening a bottle of Champagne and settling in a chair.
Jake entered the Bistro and made eye contact with Kate then sneaked off to the balcony. Kate gave Philip an excuse about needing some air then followed Jake -- just in time for them to ring in the New Year together with a kiss. Inside, Jennifer and Jack shared a kiss -- and Philip watched jealously as Chloe and Brady also shared a kiss. At the Kiriakis mansion, Will and Sonny each raised a glass of Champagne. "Happy New Year, my love," Will said to Sonny, who repeated the words.
At the Salem Inn, Chad and Gwen continued waiting for Abigail and Jake. "They figured out that I was onto them," Chad drunkenly explained to Gwen while stumbling around the hotel room. Chad eventually collapsed onto the bed -- and Gwen also settled on the bed then seized a kiss. "Sorry -- I shouldn't have done that," Gwen said after pulling away from Chad, who had not responded to the kiss -- but soon initiated another one.
Gwen's efforts to turn Chad against Abigail finally pay off
At the Bistro, Chloe and Brady realized that Philip had watched them ring in the New Year together -- and was desperately trying to feign indifference.
"It's been fun, but I think I'm gonna head --" Brady said to Chloe. "Not back to the office, I hope," Chloe challenged Brady. "No -- I'm tired; I'm gonna go to sleep," Brady assured Chloe.
Brady offered to walk Chloe back to the Salem Inn. "I think I'm gonna stay here and finish this delicious cider, [and then] I'll just get back on my own," Chloe decided. "[Or, you know], I'm sure Philip wouldn't mind escorting you back..." Brady teasingly acknowledged. "Yeah..." Chloe tiredly conceded. "I don't think he's too happy that we're here together," Brady mused. "Eh, he'll get over it," Chloe replied.
"Thank you so much for bringing me here -- it was really fun...even though I know you would have rather rung in the New Year with Kristen," Chloe said to Brady. "I was grateful that I got to ring it in with...my friend," Brady assured Chloe, who returned the sentiment.
Meanwhile, Philip tried to contact Ava, but the call went to voicemail. "You haven't returned any of my calls -- any chance you decided to let me off the hook? 'Cause this 'laundering money through Titan' [thing] is getting trickier all the time, as you can imagine..." Philip said before ending the call.
"Who are you laundering money for?" Chloe, who had just finished walking Brady to the restaurant's elevator, challenged Philip while approaching from behind. "I don't know what you're talking about," Philip claimed. "Don't lie to me, Philip -- I just heard you on the phone," Chloe stressed. "You obviously misunderstood," Philip argued. "No, I didn't misunderstand," Chloe insisted.
"You already told me that you're in debt from gambling, and [when] I asked if that's why you took the job at Titan -- because you needed money -- [you said that] there's more to it than that, [so]...is this what you meant?" Chloe challenged Philip. "Just...forget what you heard!" Philip begged. "I can't -- you're my friend, and you're in trouble, [so] I want to help you!" Chloe countered.
"I owe the mob a lot of money, [and] they said they'd forgive my debt if I laundered their cash through Titan, [which] was an offer I couldn't refuse -- [I mean], either I do it, or they hurt me or someone I care about," Philip reluctantly admitted in a hushed tone. "Oh, God -- those people are ruthless..." Chloe acknowledged, also whispering.
"And it gets worse -- my cousin Xander thinks I'm up to something, and he's trying to expose me...which could get me killed!" Philip revealed. "So...what are you gonna do?" Chloe wondered. "I've been trying to get rid of him -- which is why I was pursuing Sarah --" Philip admitted. "Wait -- so...you were never really interested in her?" Chloe translated. "No -- I was hoping to provoke Xander into attacking me in a jealous rage, and then my father would fire him...but, as I was telling you before, Sarah isn't ready to jump into a new relationship, so that plan went bust," Philip clarified.
"Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but...the whole 'you and Sarah' thing -- I'm kind of glad it was just a ruse," Chloe declared. "Well, that means something in this whole mess -- it means a whole lot, actually..." Philip admitted.
"You need to go to the police!" Chloe advised. "If I did that, these people would kill me -- or someone close to me, which could be you! I put you at risk just by telling you this!" Philip fretted. "Come on -- haven't you heard? I'm a badass -- I killed the head of an international drug cartel!" Chloe countered, trying not to sound worried. "That's not funny," Philip insisted. "Sorry -- you're right. It's just...I've seen firsthand how these kinds of criminals operate, and it is truly terrifying, [so] I am scared for you!" Chloe admitted. "I'll figure something out," Philip promised before rushing off, ignoring Chloe's protests.
Outside, Kate raved that getting to ring in the New Year with Jake had been a very pleasant surprise. "I was beginning to think I was going to have to give Philip a motherly peck at the stroke of midnight!" Kate admitted with a chuckle before reminding Jake that they needed to be careful because someone might figure out their secret if they took too many risks to be together when out in public. "Somebody already has," Jake warned Kate.
"This is a disaster!" Kate fretted after Jake finished elaborating. "[Chad] thinks that you are [sleeping with Abigail], and I could have saved him from all of that worry and all of that anguish in an instant if I had just told him the truth, [but] I didn't do that, so if he finds out [now that] I have been lying to him, then he's gonna hate us both!" Kate summarized. "Let him!" Jake countered.
"It's time you stop worrying about what Chad thinks of you --" Jake advised. "I can't do that -- I won't do that! I've told you, he's like a son to me --" Kate stressed. "He's also a grown man -- an adult [who] should be mature enough to respect the decisions you make, even if he doesn't agree with them!" Jake argued.
"He does respect them! He cares for me!" Kate insisted. "If that's true -- if he really cares about you -- then he should be happy that you're happy, no matter who you're with; we shouldn't have to sneak around, [and] I should be able to give you a Christmas present!" Jake stressed. "Oh, God -- who cares about that?" Kate dismissively protested. "I do -- I care about that! I like what we have -- hell, I'm proud of it; I want the whole damn world to know! Why is that such a problem?" Jake defensively countered. "It's complicated..." Kate summarized, fighting back tears. "Shouldn't be -- unless you're ashamed of me..." Jake argued, also fighting back tears. "I am not ashamed of you," Kate insisted, but Jake wasn't convinced.
"You don't like my clothes -- you're embarrassed; I embarrass you," Jake decided, suddenly seeing Kate's offering of a Christmas gift -- a fancy tie -- in a new light. "No --" Kate began to protest, but Jake interrupted to point out that actions spoke louder than words. "It's okay for you to have a secret fling with a low-class grease monkey, [but] God forbid anybody find out about it!" Jake bitterly summarized -- and Kate didn't confirm or deny the suspicion. "I hope you enjoyed that kiss at midnight, 'cause...it was our last," Jake declared before storming off, taking Kate's silence as an answer. Kate sighed but didn't bother to chase after Jake.
At the DiMera mansion, Tony and Anna rang in the New Year together with a kiss and a toast. "You know, even when I thought I lost you, I always raised a glass to your urn on New Year's Eve," Anna revealed. "We're so blessed to have each other -- and even though I can't predict what this year will bring, what I do know is...I shall want for nothing because I'm going to be sharing all of my days with --" Tony declared. "Better be me!" Anna warned.
Just then, Abigail joined Anna and Tony in the study, looking frustrated -- and reported, when asked, that Chad wasn't available for a toast to the new year. "I have no idea [where he is...but], apparently, he's convinced that I'm having an affair with his brother," Abigail grumbled, prompting Anna to glare at Tony. "Not me, darling!" Tony assured Anna with a nervous chuckle. "No -- Chad thinks that I am sleeping with Jake," Abigail clarified before elaborating.
"I've never known Chad to be this insecure!" Tony mused at the end of the tale. "Ever since I got back from Florida, he's been jealous, he's been suspicious, he's been borderline paranoid... I know I was sick for a while, [and] that was really stressful [for him], but I just don't understand how things got so bad between us so fast, you know? I just feel like I'm missing something, and I can't figure out what it is..." Abigail admitted. "Maybe it's Gwen!" Anna suggested.
"That doesn't make any sense," Abigail protested. "Oh, please -- the nanny is always trouble! The Hand That Rocks the Cradle -- hello?" Anna countered. "'The hand that'... What?" Abigail replied. "Oh, it's a movie," Tony clarified for Abigail before telling Anna that the pop culture reference wasn't relevant to the matter at hand. "Yes, it is -- because [that movie] shows how a woman who seems 'incredibly helpful' might not want to help you at all; she might want to seduce your husband and steal your life because she's a stone-cold predator!" Anna argued. "[That's] absurd -- I mean, she's been nothing but sweet to me since the first time I..." Abigail began to object.
"The first time I ever laid eyes on Gwen, she was in Chad's arms..." Abigail admitted. "I rest my case!" Anna declared. "Anna, please -- I'm sure there is a plausible, logical explanation for their embrace!" Tony argued. "Well, Gwen claimed that Chad was just comforting her because she had just broken up with Jake --" Abigail began to explain. "Well, that sounds innocent enough to me --" Tony stressed. "Except...it wasn't just a hug -- Chad later admitted that they kissed; [he] told me that Gwen kissed him because she was trying to make Jake jealous," Abigail concluded. "Yeah, right!" Anna skeptically exclaimed. "Anna, please --" Tony began to repeat, but Anna wasn't interested in sparing Abigail's feelings. "To me, it seems like this nanny has been pretending to be your bestie while she tries to get her hooks into your husband," Anna warned Abigail.
"It's just really hard for me to believe that Gwen would be that cruel and calculating..." Abigail admitted. "Okay -- you want proof? Search her room!" Anna advised. "That...feels deceitful --" Abigail protested. "Honey, she's taking care of your children -- you have a right to know if she's hiding anything!" Anna argued. "[Still]...I just don't like going behind her back -- I would rather just confront her," Abigail maintained. "Oh? And you think she'll level with you?" Anna asked incredulously. "Anna, sweetheart...you're not helping --" Tony interjected. "No, Tony -- you're not helping!" Anna countered.
"You want Abigail to just stick her head in the sand while her nanny has a secret plan to steal her husband?" Anna challenged Tony. "Is that what you expect to find in Gwen's room -- a file marked 'my secret plan'?" Tony challenged Anna. "Maybe? Lord knows I've found stranger things in this house!" Anna reasoned.
While Tony and Anna were arguing, Abigail tried to contact Chad again -- and the call went to voicemail again. "Wouldn't surprise me if Gwen was behind that, too!" Anna declared.
"Let's go search Gwen's room while we have the chance!" Anna urged Abigail. "The last time I went into someone's room without their permission, I found out my dad slept with Kate -- really don't want another surprise like that..." Abigail admitted. "Well, I hope we don't find one, either...but, honey, it is just possible that Gwen isn't as nice as you think she is -- and don't you want to know for sure?" Anna argued.
Anna dragged Abigail off to Gwen's bedroom without waiting for a response. "Well, I see nothing's changed -- never a dull moment in the DiMera household, is there, Daddy?" Tony mused with a chuckle while raising a glass of Champagne to Stefano's portrait.
While searching Gwen's bedroom, Anna and Abigail noticed a folder that was tucked between the pages of a magazine -- and, inside the folder, they found a collection of newspaper articles, each of which was about a member of the Deveraux clan. "She has been stalking you!" Anna concluded. "Not necessarily -- I mean, maybe she was just doing research about her new employers, and she just wasn't able to remember every detail," Abigail suggested. "Or maybe -- maybe -- she's a psycho, obsessed with your family!" Anna maintained.
"The question is...why?" Anna mused before rushing off to brag to Tony about having been proven right. Abigail stayed in Gwen's bedroom and tried to contact Chad again -- but, again, the call went to voicemail.
At the Horton house, Jennifer and Jack took turns telling each other about everything that had happened while they had been apart -- and they eventually realized that Gwen had been pitting them against each other the whole time. Jack and Jennifer resolved to figure out what was going on with Gwen -- but they decided to wait until some other time to do so, wanting to allow themselves at least one night to focus on their reunion.
At the Salem Inn, Chad continued kissing Gwen, who eventually pulled away. "You've had a lot to drink, Chad --" Gwen helpfully began to acknowledge. "I'm fine!" Chad insisted. "[And] that kiss -- you didn't mean to do that," Gwen concluded. "What if I did?" Chad countered.
"You're not thinking clearly because of the Champagne that you've had --" Gwen began to reason. "I'm fine!" Chad maintained. "[So], we're gonna pretend that this never happened -- we're not gonna tell anyone, [or even] talk about it [again], and your wife doesn't need to know," Gwen concluded. "My 'wife'!" Chad bitterly repeated.
"My 'wife' -- who is sleeping with my brother! My 'wife' -- who booked this room so she could be with him!" Chad summarized. "They're not even here --" Gwen began to argue. "Because we got here first!" Chad guessed. "Take it easy, Chad --" Gwen halfheartedly advised. "[And now] Abby is probably already coming up with a story!" Chad predicted.
"But I'm gonna bust her, okay? And then she'll probably blame the fact that she's got 'multiple personality disorder' -- that's what she did when she killed Andre, [and] when she...slept with Stefan, too... So, she's gonna bash one brother's brains in, and then she's gonna sleep with another, [but] my 'wife' -- she's 'mentally ill,' so that means she can do anything she wants, and she can get away with it because she's 'sick'!" Chad spat.
"[And] what if it's all fake -- [I mean], what if my 'sweet' and 'innocent' [and] beautiful 'wife' is really just a two-faced liar who is just serial-cheating on me, and she's tricking everybody, you know? Especially me!" Chad mused. "That would be awful --" Gwen declared. "Yes, it would be 'awful'!" Chad agreed, fighting back tears.
"So, if my 'wife' [can] repeatedly [and] brazenly, with absolutely no remorse, cheat on me, then why should I worry about cheating on her?" Chad reasoned with a shrug. "I know how much pain you're in, [but] cheating with me is not going to make things better --" Gwen sweetly advised. "Why not?" Chad impatiently countered.
"[You know], she's been tricking you the whole time, [too] -- she's been using you the whole time, [too]! I mean, think -- when [she] came back from Florida, all of a sudden, she wants to go back to work! [Now], after six months in a clinic, you would think that you would want to come home and spend some time with your family [and] your kids, but no -- she goes [and] gives this whole speech about how she wants to find purpose [and have] some control in her own life, right? But all she wants to do is be with him!" Chad argued. "Are you saying that the only reason she hired me is to carry on this affair?" Gwen wondered. "Yes -- that's exactly what I'm saying! [See], while you are watching our children, she is doing God knows what with him -- [and] it's been going on for months, [but] we're too trusting, so we didn't see it!" Chad answered.
"I don't believe that Abigail would deceive you like that, Chad -- she always says how very much she loves you --" Gwen supportively protested. "Yeah, well...talk [is] cheap!" Chad dismissively countered. "[And] the cheating is hurtful enough, [but] after what happened with Stefan...[I mean], to get involved with Jake -- that [is] what kills me!" Chad tearfully admitted.
"I really do wish that there was something I could do to make this hurt less for you --" Gwen innocently stressed while stroking Chad's cheeks. "There is -- make me forget," Chad begged before trying to kiss Gwen again. "I don't know --" Gwen halfheartedly objected, pulling away from Chad.
"Okay, so...you don't want to hurt Abigail -- [but] how 'bout Jake, after everything that he did to you?" Chad challenged Gwen. "You know, after I walked in on seeing Jake with Gabi, I had never been more humiliated in my entire life... And, yes, we know that Jake is a dog, [but] I never thought that he would go for Abigail, too... I'm just so sorry -- [I mean], I feel terrible because I should have said something sooner to you --" Gwen fretted, sighing dramatically. "No, it's not your fault -- [Jake] threatened you!" Chad assured Gwen.
"You know, it just makes me so angry that they just go around, not even trying to hide it anymore -- it's like they get off on just shoving it in our faces, you know what I mean? [And] the bloody nerve on Jake, pretending that [the] bracelet was for me when it was very obvious it was for Abigail -- I mean...what, like we're bloody stupid?" Gwen grumbled, fighting back tears. "Yeah, it makes me sick -- they pretend like we're fools!" Chad spat.
"It ends tonight!" Chad assured Gwen. "How? They're so determined to hurt us -- what can we do?" Gwen meekly wondered. "We hurt 'em back!" Chad clarified before finally managing to seize another kiss from Gwen, who started to respond then eventually pulled away. "Is this what you really want? What if Abigail finds out?" Gwen challenged Chad. "Shh! Please, do not say her name, [okay]? Just make me forget -- please!" Chad replied before starting to kiss Gwen again -- and there were no further interruptions.
Later, Gwen celebrated the accomplishment with a glass of Champagne as Chad slept soundly. "I thought it would be a lot harder to get you into bed...but, it turns out, you've got a lot less faith in Abigail than I thought... Look what you've done, Chad -- you betrayed her! And there are only so many betrayals a marriage can take..." Gwen mused -- just as Abigail placed a call to Chad's cell phone once again.
"Sorry, Abigail -- your husband is otherwise engaged...which you'll find out about soon enough..." Gwen said with a mischievous smirk.
Eli and Lani name their babies
At the Salem Inn, Gwen woke up beside a sleeping Chad. Gwen heard Chad's phone buzzing with a call from Abigail. "Sorry, Abigail. Your husband is sleeping at the moment. I must have really tired him out last night," Gwen whispered as she declined the call.
At the Horton house, as they walked downstairs, Jack told Jennifer that she was beautiful. "Seeing you there this morning makes me feel better than I have in a long, long time," Jack said. Julie popped her head up from the other side of the couch and grinned. "Sounds like somebody here enjoyed a sleepover," Julie said. Jennifer giggled as she looked at Jack. Jennifer confirmed that Jack had stayed the night. Elated, Julie said she was relieved to see Jack there, but she needed to rush off to the hospital to see Eli's new babies.
Abe visited Lani, Eli, and the twins in the hospital. "Tell me that you have settled on names for these children," Abe said. Lani handed Abe a list of names. "Are there any names that aren't on this?" Abe joked. "I want our babies to have their own names," Lani said. As the babies stirred awake, Lani noted that she needed to feed the babies.
Abe rose to leave, and Julie rushed into the room. "Happy New Year!" Julie shouted. Abe offered to buy breakfast for Julie while Lani fed the babies. After Abe guided Julie out of the room, Eli and Lani discussed baby names. "I don't have any favorites," Lani admitted. Eli suggested that they throw out their list.
"Let's just keep it simple. We don't need to find the perfect name," Eli said. "How about we name them after people they will always look up to," Lani suggested. When Eli and Lani rejoined Abe and Julie in the hallway, Lani handed the babies over to them. "His name is Carver Malcolm," Eli said. Abe beamed. Lani told Julie that the baby girl was named Julia Harriet. "We figure we'll call her Jules," Eli added.
"What we really wanted was to name our babies after people they could look up to for the rest of their lives," Lani said. "We couldn't think of anyone better than the two of you," Eli added. While Abe and Julie looked over the babies in the nursery, Eli and Lani signed the birth certificates. "The four of us are starting a wonderful new life together," Lani said.
At the Salem Inn, Chad stirred awake. Gwen handed Chad a glass of water and a bottle of aspirin. "What happened?" Chad asked. "You don't remember?" Gwen said. Chad looked across the room at the bottle of Champagne. After a moment, Chad remembered kissing Gwen. "Did you and I?" Chad asked. Gwen confirmed that she and Chad had slept together.
"I can't believe I did this," Chad moaned. "I woke up this morning, and I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror," Gwen said. Chad berated himself for working to save his marriage and then throwing it away in one drunken night. Gwen reminded Chad why they had been in the room. With a nod, Chad said he remembered.
"I think perhaps your marriage doesn't mean as much to Abigail as it does to you. You never would have even looked at me if Abigail hadn't betrayed you first," Gwen said. Chad lamented that he had made his situation with Abigail worse. "Why would [Abigail] turn to Jake?" Chad wondered aloud. Chad dressed quickly, and he announced that he needed to confront Abigail about her romantic room reservation.
"Are you going to tell [Abigail] about us? Because I think you should," Gwen said. "I don't know," Chad muttered. Chad said that he wanted to get everything out in the open with Abigail. Chad found his phone on the desk, and he noted that Abigail had called multiple times.
"Why didn't I hear my phone ring?" Chad wondered aloud. Chad noted that he did not remember setting his phone to vibrate. "You also don't remember us sleeping together last night," Gwen countered. Chad played Abigail's voicemails.
"She sounds so scared," Chad said. "Maybe she thinks you are onto her," Gwen suggested. With a shake of his head, Chad stressed that Abigail sounded worried about his safety. Gwen said that Abigail was a good actress. "Abby and I, we need to have this out," Chad said. Chad offered Gwen a ride home, but she declined.
"About last night, what happened, I'm sorry I was loaded. I know that's not an excuse, but if I had been sober, I just took advantage of the situation and you. You know it makes me sick," Chad said. Gwen stressed that she was an adult. "We were both hurt by Jake and Abigail. And we found a way to make ourselves feel better," Gwen said. After Chad left, Gwen laughed.
In the DiMera living room, Tony and Anna toasted to the New Year as Kate wandered into the room. "Who are you looking for? It wouldn't happen to be young Jake, would it?" Anna asked with a smirk. When Kate asked why Anna would ask that, Anna confirmed that she knew about the affair. Angry, Kate warned Anna and Tony to stay out of her business, and she stomped out of the room.
"We touched a nerve, didn't we?" Tony said. "Yes, we did. Let's have more mimosa!" Anna said. Anna told Tony that she believed she was right about Gwen being a con artist. Jack walked in and asked Anna what she was talking about. Anna and Tony told Jack about the file that Abigail had found in Gwen's room. "It's obvious that nanny has some sort of an agenda," Anna said. Tony said he believed Anna was overreacting. Jack agreed with Anna.
"You think I'm right?" Anna gasped. Jack explained that he had talked to Jennifer, and they had realized that Gwen had been playing them off one another. "This is so disconcerting," Tony said. With a shrug, Jack noted that it was possible that Gwen had said what she thought Jack and Jennifer had wanted to hear. "Or maybe she is a two-faced, conniving little tramp," Anna growled. Anna was eager to confront Gwen, but Tony urged Anna to leave the matter up to Jack's family.
After Tony and Anna left, Jack looked through Gwen's news file on his family. "You know all about us. Why?" Jack wondered aloud. Gwen walked into the living room, and she stopped in her tracks when she saw the file in front of Jack.
In the square, Jennifer stopped Kate as she walked by. With a groan, Kate asked Jennifer what she wanted. "I wanted to apologize," Jennifer said. Jennifer explained that she had assumed Kate had booked a room at the Salem Inn with Jack, but she had learned that Kate was involved with Jake instead. Jennifer promised not to tell anyone about Kate's affair.
"You don't have to worry about that because I'm pretty sure that Jake and I are over," Kate said. Kate and Jennifer sat in the café and talked over coffee about Kate's breakup. "Chad does not like Jake. He doesn't trust Jake. And Jake seemed to be okay with that situation until it started looking inevitable that Chad was going to find out, no matter what we did," Kate said. Kate explained that Jake had wanted to go public, but she did not agree. Jennifer pointed out that Kate could no longer keep the affair a secret from Chad.
"Unless there is some other reason you don't want people to find out about you and Jake?" Jennifer asked. Kate explained that she had always wanted to be a powerful businesswoman, but she needed to be careful with her personal life. Jennifer asked if Kate was embarrassed of her relationship with Jake.
Jake woke up in his bed at the DiMera mansion and sighed. As Jake looked at his new red tie on the chair, he thought about his breakup with Kate. "I embarrass you," Jake had said to Kate. When Kate had failed to deny Jake's accusation, a tearful Jake had ended their affair. Jake groaned at the thought.
Abigail knocked on Jake's door. Grumpy, Jake opened his door and barked, "What the hell do you want?" Jake apologized when he saw it was Abigail. Abigail told Jake that Chad had not returned home, and she was worried.
"And you didn't have a chance to tell [Chad] that I'm sleeping with Kate and not you?" Jake asked. "No, and that is why this is so bad. Wherever he is, he still thinks you and I are having an affair," Abigail said. Abigail entered Jake's room, and when she mentioned Kate, Jake told her that he and Kate were done. Jake explained that Kate was ashamed of him.
"Kate got a cheap thrill out of slumming. Lucky for her, I was available," Jake said. "I don't really like hearing you put yourself down. I mean, if Kate wants to treat you like some boy toy that doesn't have any feelings, I quite frankly find it insulting and think it is really great that you're not putting up with it," Abigail said. Jake thanked Abigail. When Abigail asked Jake if it had bothered him that Kate had wanted to keep the affair a secret, Jake admitted he had been fine with it at first.
"It's pretty obvious she doesn't want it going anywhere," Jake said. Jake changed the subject to Chad, and Abigail noted that there were no calls yet. "Chad probably just crashed somewhere," Abigail said. "Without telling you first? I'd be mad as hell," Jake said with a chuckle. Abigail said she was anxious to straighten out her misunderstanding with Chad about Jake.
"[I want to let Chad] know that our marriage is as good as it has ever been," Abigail said. "Are you going to be able to forgive Chad for not believing in you?" Jake asked. Abigail said she needed to worry about her kids. With a shake of her head, Abigail announced that she needed to go look for Chad. As Abigail turned to leave, Jake reminded her that he was there if she needed anything. "I know I can count on you," Abigail said as she opened the door to the hallway. Chad was standing there.