Allie and Tripp stayed frozen in place at the Brady Pub for a few seconds, their eyes locked on each other and their right hands resting against each other as they both knelt beside the pacifier that Henry had thrown to the floor -- then they both tried to pick up the item at the same time, resulting in their fingers being intertwined until they both pulled away abruptly.
"What a klutz," Tripp declared with a nervous chuckle, drawing a somewhat defensive look from Allie. "I was talking about myself," Tripp quickly clarified before volunteering to be the one to pick up the pacifier so there wouldn't be another mishap with Allie. "Thanks," Allie whispered with a smile while taking the item from Tripp, who returned the smile.
"I should get going -- I don't want the chowder to get cold," Tripp remembered after a moment of silence, chuckling nervously again -- and Allie nodded in response then smiled again while watching Tripp exit the pub with the takeout order. Tripp paused outside the pub and glanced back at Allie through a window then continued walking, also smiling again.
At the hospital, Claire stared in disbelief at the legal paperwork that proved that Jan had struck a deal with Belle. "Why would [my mom] believe that you're gonna keep your word?" Claire wondered. "Well, aside from the fact that I've turned over a brand-new leaf...[there's also the fact that] I don't want to go to prison any more than your grandfather does," Jan reasoned. "But you still hate my mom and want my dad," Claire argued. "Wrong! I don't hate anyone anymore, actually -- nor would I ever demean myself [again by] wanting someone who doesn't want me. Like I said, after my long winter's nap, I'm a new woman," Jan countered.
"[Now, look], Belle and I, we've put all that nasty business behind us, [and] I think you should do the same, so...burgers, on me? [Come on] -- don't postpone joy!" Jan advised. "I am not going to dinner -- or anywhere -- with you!" Claire insisted. "[But] you should be celebrating [the fact that] Charlie's out of your life for good -- [and] I want to help you do that as your friend, your very caring friend --" Jan stressed.
"How many times do I have to say this to you? I am not your friend! Okay? This is just another one of your crazy delusions, like you thinking that you're gonna live happily ever after with my dad --" Claire spat. "What do I have to do -- put it in skywriting, tattoo it on my forehead? For heaven's sake, Claire -- what's it gonna take so you believe I have zero interest in messing with your family?" Jan wondered. "You better not...because I haven't signed anything promising to keep your crazy ass out of jail," Claire warned before tossing the legal paperwork at Jan then storming out of the room in disgust.
Meanwhile, John broke down while reliving what had happened at Charlie's apartment on the night of the murder, prompting Marlena to put a stop to the hypnotherapy session. "It can't be... I can't believe it..." John repeatedly muttered. "I saw the shooting -- I heard the gunshot because I was right there; I was standing in the doorway when Charlie was killed... [The shooter] was our daughter, Doc -- it was Belle! [She] was wearing that red coat [that] Shawn gave her for Valentine's Day, [and she had] the hood up, [so] I didn't see her face, but... [She] killed the son of a bitch -- " John shakily revealed, leaving Marlena just as horrified.
"I know her -- she couldn't do that --" Marlena tried to object. "I don't want to believe it, either...[but] that would explain why I [didn't] remember anything [at first] -- I mean, it was just [that] I couldn't face the truth, right? [And] when we went over to [the Brady house earlier that night, she] practically jumped out of her skin, she was so on edge -- [and] do you remember what she was wearing?" John countered. "The red coat," Marlena admitted in a whisper. "[And that's] definitely the same coat I saw -- [it was fresh in my mind that night because] Shawn was doing his best to try to calm Belle down, [and he even] tried to get her to take her coat off, but she refused..." John recalled as Marlena turned off the recording device that was lying on the desk.
"My God, Doc -- our little girl blew that punk away in cold blood --" John incredulously summarized. "No, she didn't -- I know her; she would never do a thing like that --" Marlena firmly reiterated. "It happened right in front of me -- [and] I just saw it happen [again], clear as day --" John stressed. "[She] would never do a thing like that and then lie about it, not talk about it -- she would never allow her family to be falsely accused --" Marlena maintained. "We need to talk to Belle and get some answers," John insisted, still struggling with doubts, and Marlena nodded in agreement -- then noticed that they were no longer alone.
"Answers about what?" Jan wondered. "What do you want, Jan?" Marlena snapped. "I came to share the great news! How fortuitous that John is here, too!" Jan answered. "We already know about the deal," John grumbled. "[Then] how come you don't seem happy? [I mean], it's wonderful, isn't it? We're both free!" Jan continued. "You wish I was locked up -- you want me to pay for what I did at the wedding," Jan concluded. "Look, Doc and I are in the middle of something here, so --" John impatiently stressed. "Got it," Jan responded.
"I just came to say that nothing like [what happened at the wedding] will ever happen again. I assure you, I am no longer a threat to Belle in any way," Jan promised. "It's not just about Belle -- we're worried about Claire, also," John clarified. "Oh, I would never hurt Claire -- I mean, I consider her a dear friend; in fact, I was just with her, [and] she told me about Charlie, [and now] I just feel awful because I encouraged her to pursue him!" Jan stressed. "Well, that's all over now," Marlena noted. "It sure is -- [and] bravo, right? I'm sure you'd agree that whoever took him out did the world a huge favor!" Jan raved.
At the police station, Belle stammered while struggling to think of a satisfactory way to answer Rafe's -- and, later, Shawn's -- questions about the button that had been found in Charlie's apartment after the shooting. "This makes no sense -- [I mean], I have never been to Charlie's apartment in my life!" Belle eventually managed to stress. "But you do admit that this button looks identical to the one that is missing from your coat," Rafe assumed. "I mean...yeah, but..." Belle responded.
"That was quick work -- well done!" Trask, who had entered the police station a few seconds earlier but had not been noticed, praised Rafe. "I'll go call the mayor!" Trask offered before starting to rush off. "Hang on -- I haven't finished questioning Belle yet," Rafe protested, stopping Trask, who didn't see a need for further interrogation.
"This does not even come close to proving that my wife shot Charlie! [I mean], we're talking about a button here! You gotta be kidding me!" Shawn objected. "Shawn, it's okay --" Belle insisted. "No, it's not okay, Belle! [Look, Trask just] wants this wrapped up because she wants Abe off of her back -- it's not about justice; [it's] about the D.A. keeping her job! [So], she's trying to build a case on a random button --" Shawn argued. "It's hardly 'random' -- it came from the coat your wife is wearing, [and] she admitted it herself --" Trask clarified. "[Still], that's far from [proof of] murder --" Shawn maintained, and Rafe agreed.
"I never left the house that night -- I was home all night!" Belle insisted. "Can anyone corroborate that?" Trask asked. "I can -- I was with her," Shawn replied. "The whole night?" Trask challenged Shawn. "I mean...I wasn't there the whole night... [See], Claire had just gone through that ordeal with Charlie, [so she] went up to her room 'to take a nap' --" Shawn reluctantly backpedaled. "[But, really, she] left without telling us --" Belle elaborated. "So, I [went out to] try to find her, and Belle stayed at home, just in case [Claire] came back," Shawn concluded. "In other words, [Mrs. Brady]...you don't have an alibi -- and, based on what I've just heard, it's entirely possible that you went to Charlie's apartment that night, murdered him, and then came back home without anyone ever having a clue," Trask summarized with a triumphant smirk.
"You obviously didn't think the restraining order was enough -- you believed that Charlie was still a threat to Claire -- so...you killed him," Trask guessed. "That's insane!" Shawn protested. "I'd say it's 'open and shut,'" Trask countered. "Make the arrest," Trask ordered Rafe. "I know that you want this case closed, but pushing me to do it on flimsy evidence --" Rafe tried to argue. "The evidence is solid -- and I am pushing you because you are doing nothing! [Look], this travesty is over -- I am not leaving here until Mrs. Brady is in police custody!" Trask countered. "I'm innocent!" Belle maintained.
Tripp entered the Brady-Johnson townhouse and apologized to Steve and Kayla for having been gone longer than expected. "I ran into Allie," Tripp explained. "No problem at all," Kayla insisted while snatching the takeout food from Tripp and excitedly examining it. "Your favorite, right?" Tripp recalled, and Kayla nodded in response while eagerly transferring the food -- not just clam chowder but also slices of apple pie -- to dishes that had already been placed on the kitchen table. "Very thoughtful of you," Kayla declared. "[It's the least I could do to] thank you for letting me move back in," Tripp argued. "We are happy to have you," Kayla stressed.
"So, how's Allie doing?" Steve, who was filling three glasses with white wine, interjected. "A lot better now that her and her mom are off the hook for killing Charlie," Tripp answered. "You know, she seemed really relieved when Rafe said that he thought you were innocent, too..." Steve mused, and Tripp shrugged in response.
Steve, Kayla, and Tripp each claimed a chair at the table and began eating. "So, you are starting rounds at the hospital tomorrow -- that's very exciting," Kayla eventually said to Tripp. "Yes -- I feel very lucky, just having this very clear direction on exactly what I want to do with my life," Tripp admitted.
"Allie's kind of lost on that front right now," Tripp revealed. "That's understandable," Kayla stressed. "Yeah... [But] she wants to find a job -- you know, earn some money so she doesn't have to keep leaning on Nicole -- [so] I told her that when I'm on break from hospital rounds, I'll help her out with Henry as best I can...[you know], when she goes on interviews, I mean," Tripp elaborated. "That's very sweet of you," Kayla declared. "What's she want to do?" Steve wondered. "She has no idea...but [she's] really smart [and] really cool, [and] anybody that meets her likes her right away -- I mean, how could you not -- [so] I know something will happen for her very soon," Tripp answered. "Seems like you're really smitten with her," Steve observed.
"'Smitten' -- wow..." Tripp muttered with a chuckle and a shake of the head, trying not to blush. "Sorry -- that was a little old-fashioned... [Look], I can come up with something a little more 21st century... [Let's see]... So, are you hung up on Allie?" Steve backpedaled. "That's a little more '21st century'... [Anyway], no, I'm not 'hung up' on Allie -- [it's just]...I like her, is all, you know?" Tripp responded. "Okay..." Steve skeptically agreed, prompting Kayla to produce a gift bag as a way of changing the subject, believing that Tripp had been subjected to enough teasing about the matter.
"It's a little surprise from Dr. Snyder -- he wanted me to bring it home for you," Kayla explained while handing the gift bag to Tripp -- who was delighted to find a lab coat inside. "He can't wait to get it on!" Steve observed as Tripp scrambled to don the garment, and Kayla giggled in response, remembering that excitement. "This feels pretty good -- this feels pretty nice!" Tripp raved while strutting around the living room in the new attire. "Your father and I couldn't be more proud...[but you're] not done yet..." Kayla stressed, retrieving an item from the bag that had been overlooked -- Tripp's employee badge.
"I can't wear this," Tripp declared after taking a look at the badge. "I don't see the problem," Kayla argued, and Steve nodded in agreement, equally confused. "Something's changed...and, given everything that's been going on, I haven't really had a chance to talk to you guys about it..." Tripp began to explain.
"Tomorrow feels like a new beginning, [so] I've been kind of reflecting -- you know, thinking about how I got here... [Now], as you know, Ava was forced to give me up as a baby, [and then] I was adopted, [which] was my adoptive mom's idea -- she had wanted a kid really bad... [Anyway], she died when I was young, [and then] I was stuck with my adoptive dad, who was an alcoholic and liked to use me as his punching bag... [So], finally, I just couldn't take it anymore, so I ran away to look for my birth parents...and it turned out that you were looking for me, too," Tripp continued before flashing Steve a smile.
"[But] when you first brought me to Salem, I made it so difficult for you -- I was so angry and deceitful..." Tripp continued while giving Kayla a look of regret. "[Anyway], the fact that you were able to accept me, despite all my flaws -- [not to mention] the fact that I'm Ava's son, [and] all the complications that brings -- [just proves how much you both] want me in your lives... Silas Dalton never wanted me -- and he made that very clear every day with his fists... His 'home' was never like this -- there was no talking, no laughter, no sitting down for a meal... I mean, yeah, sure, it was four walls and a roof...but it wasn't a home -- my home is here. And that jerk was never my father -- you are," Tripp continued, flashing Steve another smile.
"That's why I [recently] hired Justin to do some work for me -- it was a minor job [for him but] major for me -- [and] the paperwork just got back, so it's official...[which means that, despite what this badge says], I am not 'Tripp Dalton' [anymore]; from now on, my legal name is 'Tripp Johnson,'" Tripp concluded.
"Maybe I should have asked you first, instead of just springing it on you like this --" Tripp realized when Steve didn't immediately respond to the announcement. "No, you didn't have to ask me -- I'm just...I'm speechless..." Steve stammered. "Good 'speechless' or bad 'speechless'?" Tripp asked with a nervous chuckle. "Good," Steve replied with a reassuring nod. "I'm honored -- this means everything to me," Steve elaborated while hugging Tripp. "To me, too... [You know], we've come a long way since the diner in Arizona -- [and now] we're finally a family [in every way]! And, look, I'm not gonna deny where I come from -- and I'm not gonna forget it, that's for sure -- but I am so proud and excited to start this new chapter in my life as 'Tripp Johnson,'" Tripp raved. "Soon to be 'Doctor Tripp Johnson,'" Kayla noted.
Allie entered the Brady house with Henry while Claire was recording an urgent voicemail message for Belle. "I just found out that my mom cut a deal with Jan Spears!" Claire explained to Allie after ending the call. "[So, anyway], I've been trying to reach [my mom] to find out what the hell she was thinking, but she's not picking up... [Anyway], I know Grandpa John will be furious that Jan isn't going to prison, but...at least he isn't, either," Claire summarized after sharing the details of the deal with Allie, who agreed that was a relief.
"So, what brings you by?" Claire asked. "Well, I've been doing some thinking, and I decided I'm going to start looking for a job, [so]...I wanted to ask you a favor..." Allie replied. "I thought that Tripp was on that," Claire admitted after Allie elaborated that Henry might need a babysitter from time to time. "Yeah...[but] he starts rounds tomorrow at the hospital, [so I just] don't want to impose on him [anymore]," Allie clarified.
"You should hear him, Claire -- I mean, the way that he talks about his career with all this passion and pride [is] so inspiring... [He's] gonna be the most amazing doctor..." Allie gushed. "When did you start being into Tripp?" Claire wondered. "I am not --" Allie protested. "Allie, I know you pretty well, and I'm pretty sure I'm right about this...and, hey, maybe you just didn't realize it [before], but now that I've noticed it... [Come on, just] be honest, Allie -- do you have feelings for Tripp?" Claire countered -- but Marlena and John entered the house just then, and Allie seized the opportunity to rush off with Henry. "I will call you tomorrow," Claire warned Allie, who responded with a forced smile, understanding the implication.
Marlena and John played along when Claire guessed that they had stopped by to find out why Belle had struck a deal with Jan. Claire revealed that Belle wasn't at the house and hadn't been answering phone calls recently, prompting Marlena to try contacting Shawn instead. "We're desperately searching for Belle -- do you know where she is?" Marlena began when Shawn answered the call. "Yeah -- actually, I do... Listen, I hate to tell you this, but...she's being arrested for Charlie's murder," Shawn replied, devastating Marlena, who ended the call without saying another word then gave John a look of horror.
At the hospital, Jan sneaked into Marlena's office and used a letter opener to pick the lock on one of the desk drawers, having correctly guessed that the recording device that had been in plain view earlier had since been tucked away in there for safekeeping. "Let's see what you ingrates were chatting about..." Jan muttered before listening to the recording of Marlena's earlier hypnotherapy session with John.
Jan smirked while remembering having shot Charlie while wearing the red coat that John had recognized -- mistakenly or not -- as Belle's. "Sorry, Charlie..." Jan declared with a dismissive shrug at the end of the recording.
Gwen makes a decision about her pregnancy
Jack visited Steve at his house to ask for advice about Jack's daughters. Jack told Steve the whole story about Gwen and Abigail and the pregnancy. "I don't think Solomon could broker this deal," Steve said. Jack said that Gwen had sworn that she had not meant to get pregnant. When Jack told Steve that Jack had sent Gwen to see Kayla, Steve asked about Abigail. Jack told Steve about Abigail's demand that Gwen should get an abortion.
"[Abigail] must be at her wits' end," Steve said. Steve asked if Gwen intended to get an abortion. With a shrug, Jack said he did not know what Gwen wanted. "I didn't think things could get any worse after Laura died," Steve said. Jack said he understood why Abigail resented Gwen, but he wanted a relationship with Gwen.
With a chuckle, Steve reminded Jack how much they had hated one another when they had first met. "I could never imagine we'd be as close as we are now," Jack said. "I guess blood really is thicker than water," Steve said. Jack laughed. Steve advised Jack not to push Abigail and Gwen to be friends. "Give them some time. Maybe they'll be able to work it out just like we did," Steve said. With a sigh, Jack admitted that Gwen and Abigail's relationship was dependent on Gwen's decision about the baby. Jack added that if Gwen decided to be a single mother, she would need Jack more than ever.
At the hospital, Kayla entered an exam room and told Gwen that she had been surprised to see Gwen's name on the list. "Are you sick?" Kayla asked. "Just first thing in the morning. I think I'm pregnant, and I need to be sure," Gwen said. Kayla suggested that Gwen could take the test with any other doctor in town, but Gwen argued that Abigail would not believe the results from any doctor but Kayla.
"Why do you need to convince Abigail? Oh, right. You slept with Chad," Kayla said. Gwen explained that Chad was the only possible father. After taking blood, Kayla returned to talk to Gwen. Gwen stressed that she had not intended to get pregnant. "I don't blame anyone but myself, but I did what I did because Laura Horton went to my mother, and she said that my father adored Abigail, and he didn't want any part of me," Gwen said. Gwen said she wanted a relationship with her father, but Jack had said that would not work unless Abigail forgave Gwen.
"But if I'm pregnant with Chad's baby?" Gwen said. With a nod, Kayla noted that the baby would tie Gwen to Chad forever. "I suppose that's why [Abigail] is trying to force me to get an abortion," Gwen said. Kayla asked Gwen if she was open to terminating the pregnancy. "Maybe I'm not even pregnant," Gwen said. Kayla's phone rang, and the technician on the call confirmed that Gwen was pregnant.
"That is not the news I was hoping for," Gwen said. When Kayla asked about the date of conception, Gwen explained that she had slept with Chad on New Year's Eve. Kayla informed Gwen that Gwen was in the second trimester, and that there might be a problem if Gwen wanted to terminate the pregnancy.
Kayla suggested an ultrasound. Gwen asked Kayla to turn the screen away. "In case I decide not to keep the baby," Gwen explained. Kayla obliged. Kayla confirmed that the baby was 15 weeks along and appeared healthy. Gwen asked about the gender, but Kayla said she could not see. "I changed my mind. I want to see the screen," Gwen said. "Are you sure?" Kayla asked. Gwen said yes, and Kayla turned the monitor to face Gwen.
In the DiMera Living room, Chad asked Abigail if they could talk. "You dropped a bomb on me last night. Then you just stormed out of the room," Chad said. "What, do you not like the way you found out Gwen is claiming to be pregnant?" Abigail asked. Chad asked if it was true. Abigail said she did not know for sure, but Jack had called to tell her that Gwen was at the hospital for a blood test. Chad hoped aloud that Gwen was faking the pregnancy.
When Abigail mentioned that she had told Gwen to end her pregnancy, Chad flinched. "Is that a problem for you?" Abigail asked. "You don't think that's a little harsh?" Chad asked. Abigail reminded Chad how he had reacted when he had believed that Charlotte was Stefan's child. "I just think it is too soon to start talking about abortion," Chad said. "You can't possibly want her to have this baby, can you?" Abigail asked. Chad reiterated that his night with Gwen had been a mistake.
"I want this marriage to work; however, I don't think I can just stand by and watch you and Gwen raise a child together," Abigail said. "Whether she has the baby or not is not up to me," Chad said. Angry, Abigail said that if Gwen had a baby, it would destroy Abigail and Chad's marriage. "We don't even know if [Gwen] wants the baby," Chad argued. Abigail countered that Gwen would use her child to hurt Chad and Abigail, because Gwen knew that Chad loved his children.
"Even if Gwen is pregnant, and even if she decides to keep the baby, we don't have to let it destroy us," Chad said. Abigail argued that everyone knew that Gwen had slept with Chad. Chad countered that Gwen would not go public with the paternity of the baby. Abigail disagreed. "Your child is going to be taken care of by a woman as unstable as Gwen," Abigail argued. Abigail added that Gwen had found the perfect method to destroy Abigail and Chad's relationship.
"Please don't give up on us. Baby, I swear I will not let her child come between us," Chad said. "You have no idea how much I want to believe that, but I saw the look in your eye when I said Gwen should get an abortion," Abigail said. Chad explained that he had been surprised because it was not a suggestion he would have expected from Abigail. "I'm different now. Gwen made sure of that," Abigail said. Abigail said Gwen's actions had caused Abigail to lose months of her life in a hospital.
When Abigail asked Chad if he could look her in the eye and tell her that he would turn down Gwen's request to parent Gwen's child, Chad started to tear up. "I didn't think so," Abigail said. Without another word, Abigail walked out. Chad broke down in tears.
Abigail went over to the hospital to talk to Kayla. Abigail rushed out of the elevator, and she marched over to Kayla at the nurses' station. "Where's Gwen? I need to know if she is pregnant and if she intends to have the baby," Abigail demanded.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad sat at his desk and rubbed his forehead. Gwen walked into the living room, and she confirmed that she was pregnant with Chad's child. "Abby said you two had a talk yesterday," Chad noted. Gwen said she had seriously thought about an abortion, but she had decided to keep the baby.
Eli and Lani cuddled the twins in their apartment, and they wondered aloud about Aunt Paulina. Lani asked Jules to never do anything as dumb as her cousin Chanel. Once the twins were down for their nap, Lani told Eli that she could not believe Chanel had married Xander. "When I was over there, they could barely remember each other's names," Eli said. Eli told Lani about Paulina's argument with Chanel. "I'm so glad you were there," Lani said. Eli confided to Lani that he had avoided the question of Xander's character.
"So [Paulina] still doesn't know?" Lani asked. "Not from me!" Eli said. Eli argued that Chanel would learn about Xander soon enough. "Xander's not that bad. I mean, he did help us get our babies back," Lani said. Eli changed the subject to the twins, and Lani told Eli that the babies had flipped onto their tummies. "Imagine when they are sitting up, walking, and getting into everything," Lani said. "I love those babies. You know who else I love? You," Eli said. Eli kissed Lani.
At the Salem Inn, Paulina knocked on Xander's door. Chanel did not want to talk to her mom, so she slammed the door in Paulina's face. Xander exited the bathroom. "I heard the door slam. I was hoping that meant you walked out," Xander said. "Your new Mrs. is here to stay," Chanel countered.
After Xander dressed, he told Chanel to go home to her mother. "[But] we just got married," Chanel said. "Only because I was wasted and because you thought I was a millionaire CEO," Xander said. Chanel asked Xander why the company had fired him, but Xander explained that he had quit his job. "Why'd you do a damn fool thing like that?" Chanel asked. Xander explained that his uncle owned the company, and he had refused to share the job with his cousin.
"I will never ask that old man for anything ever again. Not ever again," Xander said firmly. "So, you're turning your back on that kind of money because of your stupid pride?" Chanel asked. Xander argued that Chanel had never earned a penny in her life. Chanel smiled, and she encouraged Xander to find another job. "Those jobs are hard to come by," Xander said. Xander explained that before his job at Titan, he had had a checkered past. Xander told Chanel that he was broke, and he owed people money.
"What you're telling me is, you're a loser? You led me on?" Chanel asked. Xander reminded Chanel that she had made assumptions about him. "You're poor?" Chanel yelled. "You gambled, and you lost," Xander said. Xander suggested that Chanel should look for a job, but Chanel argued that was pointless. Chanel said that her mother was a real estate mogul who had given Chanel a cushy life that she refused to give up. Chanel explained that Paulina had cut her off.
"I knew I had to find a rich man, and I thought I had when I met you," Chanel said. "So, that whole story about how our wedding was my idea, that was just rubbish?" Xander asked. Chanel apologized, but Xander told her, "My hat's off to you." Chanel lamented that she had not done a background check first, and she said she would not make that mistake next time. "Next time?" Xander asked.
"[You] think I want to be saddled to a drunk who's broke? We had a quickie marriage. We'll have a quickie divorce, and that will be that," Chanel said. "You're not going to unload me that easily," Xander said.
As Paulina left the inn, she ran into Abe in the square. Abe told Paulina that he had the paperwork from the zoning board. "That's nice," Paulina said dismissively. When Abe asked what was wrong, Paulina asked Abe for advice on Chanel's unfortunate marriage. Paulina told Abe that she had gambled when she had kicked Chanel out and told her to get a job. "It never entered my mind that [Chanel] would marry some stranger on the same day!" Paulina added. Abe admitted that Chanel appeared committed to not getting a job.
"Count your blessings. It could have been Theo she latched onto," Paulina said. Confused, Abe asked Paulina what she meant. When Paulina explained that Chanel and Theo had dated in South Africa, Abe told Paulina that Theo had introduced Abe to Chanel, but he had not known that Chanel was Paulina's daughter. "Lani caught her trying to con Theo into taking her back with him when he went back to Joburg," Paulina said. When Paulina mentioned that Chanel was married to Xander, Abe gasped.
"Is [Xander] some sort of criminal?" Paulina asked. Abe explained about Xander's past with blood diamonds and Xander's recent work with Victor. "There are two sides to Victor. He is both a tycoon and a career criminal," Abe said. Paulina asked which side Xander had worked for, and Abe said it was the latter. Abe told Paulina about Xander's laundry list of crimes. "Sounds like my Chanel is married to the devil himself," Paulina said.
"What I didn't say is that Xander changed. Xander changed after he met a woman called Sarah Horton," Abe said. Abe explained that Sarah had dumped Xander at the altar. With a groan, Paulina noted that her daughter had married a reformed criminal on the rebound. Abe told Paulina that Xander had helped Eli and Lani track down the woman that had stolen the twins, and Paulina probed for an explanation. Abe told Paulina about the baby switch.
"I can't believe it. My Chanel is married to a man who does hateful things to women. It's all my fault. I should have found a way to help her be independent. I was too hard on her. It's no wonder she was looking for an easy way out," Paulina said. In tears, Paulina said she had failed as a mother. Abe reached across the table and squeezed Paulina's hand. While Paulina dried her eyes, Abe advised her to let Chanel make her own mistakes.
"Chanel is not stupid. She'll figure out this marriage was a mistake," Abe said. Paulina thanked Abe for the advice. Abe reminded Paulina that they were family and business partners. "Didn't you say you had some papers you wanted me to sign?" Paulina asked. Abe slid the envelope across the table, and Paulina signed. Abe promised to file the papers. Paulina thanked Abe for his help. "You know how to reach me," Abe said. After Paulina's chat with Abe, she went to talk to Lani. Paulina asked Lani for help.
Xander and Chanel hatch a plan
At the Price-Grant apartment, Paulina started fretting to Lani about what was going on with Chanel -- then begged for help. "Auntie, you know I want to help you in any way that I can...but...what makes you think that Chanel is even gonna listen to me?" Lani asked. "You're a young woman who's got her life together!" Paulina replied. "That hasn't always been the case," Lani stressed. "Even better! [So], I'll take care of your babies, [and] you go talk some sense into mine!" Paulina insisted.
At the Salem Inn, Chanel refused to let Xander be the one who decided if they were going to remain married or not. "If you're gonna be a jerk about [this, I'll just save myself] the hassle of getting a divorce [and instead] get an annulment -- I certainly have grounds for one, [because even though] I was tempted, given that rocking body of yours, to consummate our marriage...[well, let's just say that] when the moment of truth arrived, you couldn't hold up your end," Chanel declared. "That did not happen!" Xander protested. "Like you remember!" Chanel argued. "It's all coming back to me now -- it was one of the craziest nights of my life; you were a real wildcat!" Xander raved. "That's a lie -- and you know it!" Chanel objected. "Maybe...but I [also] know how to sell it, [and] it'll be my word against yours, so...you're still stuck with me, wife," Xander maintained.
"There are other reasons for an annulment --" Chanel stammered. "Good luck with that!" Xander warned. "Damn it, Xander, why are you doing this? Just yesterday, you couldn't wait for this marriage to be over!" Chanel snapped. "[Yeah...but that was] before I found out how loaded your mom is," Xander clarified. "You want a payout? What kind of person are you?" Chanel spat. "Look in the mirror, sweetheart! You married me for money I don't have, [and] I'll divorce you for money your mama does have -- makes us the same! Hey -- finally, something in common!" Xander countered. "[But] I was only dumping you because you're poor -- if you get some big payout from my mother, you'll be rich, and I'll have no reason to want a divorce," Chanel stressed. "You do have a point..." Xander grumbled. "Now look at you -- singing the blues... Is it because we're having our first fight?" Chanel teased.
"You know, there's no real reason for us to be at odds here; we both want the same thing -- to end this marriage and get our hands on your mom's money -- [so] why don't we work together [to] get Paulina to pay up, and then we'll split the settlement 50/50," Xander suggested. "50/50?" Chanel repeated. "What do you say?" Xander prodded Chanel -- but Lani arrived just then, cutting the conversation short.
"I assume you're here to congratulate me [and] welcome me to the family? How are my wee cousins doing?" Xander teasingly challenged Lani while wrapping an arm around Chanel's waist. "I would like to talk to my cousin -- alone," Lani snapped. "I'm not sure I can tear myself away -- you know, marital bliss and all that..." Xander fretted. "I'll be fine," Chanel sweetly assured Xander.
Lani waited until Xander was gone then confirmed Chanel's guess that the visit had been Paulina's idea. "She's worried about you -- about this mistake that you made -- [and, look, I get that] your mother cut you off for the first time, and you're on your own, and I can't imagine how scary that is for you...[but] you are so strong [and] smart, and you have a great foundation to go out there and do whatever you want -- create the life you want to live -- and you don't need no man or your mother to help you do that," Lani argued. "Maybe you're right..." Chanel conceded.
"[But] there's only one problem -- I already told Xander I want a divorce, and he wants money, [so]...no payout, no divorce," Chanel fretted. "That's the Xander we all love and admire," Lani grumbled. "[The thing is]...I don't have any money, and there's no way I'm crawling back to my mom [and] admitting she was right [then] asking her to pay for another one of my mistakes," Chanel stressed. "Well, I could ask her..." Lani offered, taking the bait -- and Chanel responded with a squeal of delight and a hug of gratitude then smirked triumphantly once the coast was clear.
Lani returned to the Price-Grant apartment and updated Paulina, who happily produced a checkbook and a pen then wondered how much it was going to cost to get Xander out of Chanel's life. "Ten million," Lani revealed, drawing a look of disbelief from Paulina -- the same expression Chanel had just drawn from Xander at the Salem Inn. "You told Lani that's how much I wanted to divorce you?" Xander asked incredulously. "Genius, right?" Chanel proudly replied. "So, five mil for you, [and] five for me..." Xander realized before flashing Chanel a different expression -- a grin.
At the hospital, Kayla informed Abigail that Gwen had already been treated and discharged -- and that nothing else could be said about the appointment because of doctor-patient confidentiality. Abigail desperately tried to claim a right to Gwen's private medical information, given the circumstances, but the argument didn't work on Kayla.
"I just feel so out of control -- [I mean], I hate my sister, [and] I am so consumed with all of these ideas about how to just, like, punish her for everything that she's done to me and my family! [And] I don't want to feel this way -- I don't want to be angry all the time -- [but] if I don't get control of it, I don't know why Chad...or you, or anybody...would want to have anything to do with me!" Abigail admitted to Kayla while fighting back tears. "Let go of what you can't control," Kayla recommended. "How?" Abigail wondered. "Instead of focusing on what Gwen does or doesn't do, [just] go home [and] tell Chad how much you love him and how badly you are hurting -- [and] be brutally honest -- [and then], I think, if you trust your love, you'll find a way to heal," Kayla suggested.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad demanded to know if Gwen had decided to keep the baby simply because doing so would be a great way to hurt Abigail once again. "[This] has nothing to do with Abigail -- [and] I understand that [it's] hard to believe [that because] most of my decisions last year focused on hurting [her...but since] I learned that my father didn't intentionally abandon me, my focus has shifted [to] creating a relationship with him. And I know that having your baby is going to get in the way of letting that happen, [but]..." Gwen began to respond.
"You know, it's not like I wanted to get pregnant -- I know I tricked you into bed, but this was not part of the plan -- [and when] I was on the exam table, getting a sonogram...[well, I actually] asked Dr. Johnson not to let me see the screen, because I felt that if I saw the image of the baby, then I would be reminded, even more, of all the regret I had and all the pain I've caused...[but then]...I don't know, I just changed my mind...[and as soon as I saw] that image of the baby, it was real -- you know, it wasn't just an 'it' anymore -- [and] that just made me think of all the years that I have felt unwanted and discarded, [and how] that turned me into the hateful person that I am today, and that's when I realized that I can't do that to [this] little 'him' or 'her' -- that's when I realized I have to keep this child [and] give it all the love that I was so very desperate for [but] never got," Gwen concluded, fighting back tears.
"Maybe I'm foolish for admitting this, [but...I think that] you're sincere [and] that you're not doing this for the wrong reasons," Chad decided after a moment of thought. "Thank you for your kindness -- I know it's unfair of me to just come here and bare my soul to you, [considering] what's ahead and [the fact that] my choice is not going to make everybody's life easy --" Gwen responded. "Yes, your choice is going to have an effect on all of us...profoundly...but it is your choice to make," Chad acknowledged. "[Still]...I do not want to cause any more grief, so I do not want you to feel responsible for this child, nor do I expect you to be a part of his or her life --" Gwen stressed. "Well, regardless of what you expect or want, [I'm going to] accept the responsibilities of parenting him or her [and] always do my best to make sure that he or she is welcome in my life and in my family's life," Chad promised -- just as Abigail arrived.
Abigail -- who apparently hadn't heard what Chad had just said -- started lashing out at Gwen for having decided to keep the baby. "I went [and] spoke to my Aunt Kayla, and I could tell by the look on her face [that] the test you took at the hospital confirmed your pregnancy -- and of course you're gonna keep it, [because] how could you resist having my husband's child, [right]? And you're gonna use it to remind me of all of the things that you've taken from me!" Abigail snapped. "That's not the way it is --" Chad insisted. "Oh, my God -- you and my dad, you're both always defending her [and] believing her! What is the matter with you? What other reason could it possibly be?" Abigail countered. "Abigail --" Gwen began. "Do not! You came to Salem to ruin my life -- congratulations, you've done it!" Abigail spat before storming off.
At the Brady house, Claire received a visit from Ben, who had heard that Belle had been arrested as the latest suspect in Charlie's murder case. "I still can't believe it -- I mean, my mom is not a murderer!" Claire fretted. "Obviously, there's been some kind of mistake," Ben assumed. "Oh, no -- there's no 'mistake'; D.A. Trask is [just] out for blood," Claire explained.
Ben grumbled that Ciara seemed to be out for blood, too. "Mine," Ben clarified with a sigh before elaborating. "Ben!" Claire snapped at the end of the tale. "I know, Claire -- I know! [Look, even as I was trying to inject Ciara both times], I knew it was the wrong thing to do, [but] I was just desperate, [and] I didn't know if I was gonna get another chance, [and] I just couldn't [shake] this feeling [that, deep down], she would want me to do whatever the hell it took to bring us back together," Ben reasoned with a shrug of regret.
Claire found it interesting that Theo hadn't tried to encourage Ciara to take Rolf's memory-jogging serum. "Yeah! [You know], ever since Ciara lost her memory, Theo's been right there in between us -- always right there -- [and] it's almost like this guy wants to keep her all to himself..." Ben complained. "Maybe he does," Claire suggested. "The way you said that... [Come on], Claire -- do you know more than what you're saying to me right now? Did you talk to Theo about his feelings for Ciara?" Ben wondered. "I have, actually -- I asked Theo, straight to his face, how he felt about Ciara now...[and] he totally avoided the question," Claire revealed. "Because he does want to keep her all for himself," Ben concluded.
"[Well], that's not gonna happen, [because] I'm gonna head back over there right now [and] make sure that she understands why she belongs with me and nobody else!" Ben declared before starting to rush off. "That is the last thing that you should do!" Claire advised, blocking Ben's path.
"It's pretty obvious that the more we push her, the more upset she gets, [so]...I know you don't want to hear this right now, but we need to back off," Claire insisted. "I can't do that --" Ben protested. "You have to do that -- please! Look, she's gonna be out of the hospital in a couple of days, [and then] she's gonna be home with her family and friends, and there are gonna be reminders everywhere of what you two had -- and once that happens, she's going to remember everything, [and] she's gonna come back to you!" Claire argued. "But what if Theo gets in the way?" Ben fretted. "I'll tell him that he needs to give Ciara space -- and that you're gonna do the same," Claire offered. "All right, I'll give her some space...but, first, I need to apologize [to her, so]...one word -- one thing I'm going to say to her, an apology -- and that is it, I swear to you," Ben begged -- and Claire nodded in agreement and stepped aside after a moment of thought.
At the hospital, Ciara continued a phone conversation with Shawn. "[Yeah, I already] heard about Belle's arrest...[and, yeah], of course she didn't do it -- she's incapable!" Ciara declared before offering Shawn a few words of comfort then ending the call -- just as Theo arrived, armed with a bouquet of flowers.
"I was hoping we could talk -- [you know], about the other day, when you kissed me," Theo began. "What is there to talk about? I mean, I felt close to you, so...I kissed you. What's wrong with that?" Ciara argued. "Well, for starters...you're married," Theo clarified. "Yes, but I don't want him!" Ciara stressed.
"You're not Team Ben, are you?" Ciara challenged Theo. "I'm Team You -- whatever makes you happy is what I want," Theo assured Ciara. "Well, kissing you made me happy -- [and] being with you makes me happy. I feel like I can actually be myself around you -- you don't judge me, you don't tiptoe around me... When I came back to Salem after you got shot, I was so angry -- I felt like we were robbed of our chance to be together -- [but] now I almost kind of feel like we got that chance back," Ciara declared.
"You've always been special to me, [and] I always hoped things would work out for us, but...Ciara, [look], I don't want to fall for you all over again and then one day [find out that] you remember your life with him [and want] to go back to him," Theo admitted. "You're afraid of getting hurt. [Well], I certainly don't want to get hurt, either -- [and] that is why I am done with Ben Weston, a maniac who has convinced everyone that he is charming and changed and better now, when, in reality, he just tried to inject me with a syringe filled with drugs in my sleep! [He] scared me, [and] I am through with being scared, so why would I ever go back to a man like him...especially when the kindest, sweetest, most amazing man I know is sitting right in front of me, a man who is always there for me [and] always makes me feel safe?" Ciara responded.
"You are just as stubborn and determined...and beautiful...as when we were kids -- but this is..." Theo fretted. "Complicated? Yeah, I totally get that -- but I'm not saying that we should just jump right into a relationship. How 'bout we just be us and see where things go?" Ciara countered.
Later, Ciara received another visit from Ben -- and Theo was no longer around for protection, having received an urgent phone call from Claire earlier. "You don't need to call security -- I'm gonna say one thing, then I'm gonna go," Ben preemptively assured Ciara.
"I'm sorry about trying to inject you with that drug without your consent -- it was wrong. And, from now on, I am going to stay away -- I'm gonna give you all the time you need to get your memory back, because I know once that happens, you and I are gonna be together again," Ben declared before starting to leave, not expecting a response from Ciara -- who seemed to have been rendered speechless, anyway. "I'm not gonna come back to you, Ben -- we're never gonna be together again...because I'm leaving Salem," Ciara defiantly called out after recovering, leaving Ben speechless instead.
Vivian forces Kristen's hand
At the Brady house, Theo offered Claire a few words of comfort, having heard that Belle had been arrested as the latest suspect in Charlie's murder case. Claire assured Theo that everything was going to be okay because Shawn was going to find a way to prove that Belle was innocent.
At the hospital, Ben listened in stunned silence as Ciara continued talking about a plan to leave town as soon as possible. "All my friends and family [in Salem] have years of memories that I don't have, [and] they expect me to be this person that I don't remember being, [so] I have to get out of here," Ciara reasoned.
"I need a fresh start -- [and Theo is going] back to South Africa [soon, so]...I'm gonna go with him," Ciara revealed, leaving Ben even more stunned than before. "I get that you want a break [from this place...but] why are you going with Theo?" Ben wondered. "Because I like being around him -- and he makes me feel safe; he is a decent, kind man; he's never murdered a single soul," Ciara spat. "We're married," Ben stressed. "Technically," Ciara conceded. "No, not 'technically' -- you and I are married!" Ben maintained.
"And you're telling me you're gonna go jump into another relationship with your pal --" Ben summarized. "I'm not 'jumping' -- [I mean], Theo and I have history [already and] care about each other a lot, [but] we're gonna take our time [and] see where things go," Ciara clarified. "So, you are not together," Ben translated. "Not yet..." Ciara teased.
Meanwhile, Theo shared the same information with Claire as a way of shutting down a conversation about the importance of respecting the fact that Ciara was married to -- and, deep down, was in love with -- Ben. "This isn't right -- [I mean], you're taking her away from her husband!" Claire protested. "She wants to be with me!" Theo countered.
"You have no idea how strong [Ciara and Ben's] bond is...[but, trust me], she is going to remember [him eventually] -- and when that day comes, Theo, you're gonna get hurt --" Claire warned. "Maybe that will happen...but maybe it won't, so [Ciara and I are] just gonna live in the now and see where that takes us," Theo reasoned. "I think you're making a really big mistake," Claire maintained. "Well, if I am, it's my mistake to make," Theo stressed before saying goodbye to Claire then rushing off.
Meanwhile, Ben argued that Ciara might be okay physically but was not okay mentally -- and was therefore in no condition to be traveling to another state, let alone another country, at that time. "[So], 'mentally,' I can't make my own decisions," Ciara defensively summarized. "That's not what I'm saying! [Look], I think everything has just gotten very crazy, and we all need to take a big step back and a deep breath -- [and] that is why I came here today to tell you that I am backing off and [that] I am gonna stay away. [Seriously], if it is space that you need, I promise you, I am going to give it to you. But...just...please, you cannot leave Salem -- not yet!" Ben tearfully clarified.
Ciara hesitantly began to respond to Ben, seemingly moved -- but Theo arrived just then and demanded to know what was going on. "I was just...um...explaining to Ben how we are leaving for South Africa together..." Ciara informed Theo while still focused on Ben, seemingly conflicted. "And...um...he was just leaving," Ciara concluded while joining hands with Theo in a way that Ben couldn't miss -- but there was still some hesitation, as if the purpose of the gesture was not to choose one man but instead to test the other man for a reaction.
"Theo, you don't want to do this --" Ben advised. "I'm not doing anything -- Ciara's the one who brought up the idea of coming to South Africa with me," Theo stressed. "You could have said no -- you didn't have to let her," Ben countered. "Ben, no one 'lets' me do anything!" Ciara snapped. "You know that's not what I meant," Ben tiredly clarified. "Sounds like it's exactly what you meant," Theo argued. "Theo, I don't know what the hell you think you're doing, but you're making a mistake --" Ben insisted. "Is that a threat?" Theo wondered. "No," Ben answered.
"Ciara, I get that you see me as this terrible person you could never love...but you did love me, and somewhere inside of you, it's still there, so you can run away from me, you can run away from this town, you can even leave this country...but you are still my wife -- that's never gonna change," Ben declared before walking away -- and Ciara, who had been avoiding eye contact for a while, let a single tear fall once the coast was clear.
At the park, Sami continued a phone conversation with Kristen, who was at the Evans-Black townhouse. "[Look, I already] told you I have a plan [to get Chloe away from Brady, so just] stop bothering me!" Sami snapped. "I'll stop 'bothering' you when I see results!" Kristen countered. "I'm working on it!" Sami insisted. "Work faster -- unless you want me to call E.J. and tell him that you're cheating on him with Lucas..." Kristen warned. "Cut it out with the threats, okay? [Seriously], I have this all figured out!" Sami maintained. "What does that mean?" Kristen demanded to know. "Lucas is going to seduce her," Sami clarified. "The hell I am!" Lucas, who had just entered the park, protested while approaching Sami from behind.
Sami quickly hung up on Kristen then smacked Lucas' right shoulder. "Kristen might have heard you!" Sami fretted -- but Kristen had apparently missed Lucas' comment and was apparently not suspicious about the abrupt way in which the phone conversation had just ended.
Kristen, who was once again disguised as Susan, seemed to find comfort in knowing the exact details of Sami's plan -- but barely had time to breathe a sigh of relief before Brady approached and inadvertently took away that sense of peace, revealing that Vivian had just called. "She said she had something important to tell me -- [and] I'm assuming it's about Kristen," Brady explained before starting to head off to Statesville, prompting Kristen to object as Susan, claiming to be unable to watch Rachel at that time due to a previously scheduled doctor's appointment. "Okay -- I can call another sitter," Brady reasoned before starting to dial a phone number, prompting Kristen to object again as Susan, vowing to return before Statesville's visiting hours ended.
Meanwhile, Sami continued fretting about the possibility that Lucas had just ruined a perfectly good attempt to placate Kristen. "Be quiet [next time]! What is the matter with you?" Sami snapped. "What is the matter with you? You're pimping me out to my ex-wife!" Lucas countered. "Uh, I resent you calling it 'pimping'!" Sami protested. "What do you call it?" Lucas wondered. "Well...I call it...'stopping Kristen from exposing our one-night stand to her brother, who happens to be my husband,'" Sami answered. "I call it 'pimping,'" Lucas maintained.
"[And besides], this is your problem, not mine," Lucas stressed. "Uh, excuse me -- I remember two of us being in that bed," Sami argued. "Yeah, but only one of us is married, so..." Lucas reasoned with a shrug and a snicker. "Okay, I realize this is not the ideal solution --" Sami began. "It's not a 'solution' at all!" Lucas interjected. "But we talked about this!" Sami concluded. "We didn't 'talk about' it -- you steamrolled me, like you always do!" Lucas objected. "That's not fair!" Sami grumbled. "It's pretty fair -- and it's very accurate," Lucas insisted.
"I'm only in this mess [because] you kissed me!" Sami declared. "It's a long way from a kiss to sleeping together -- [and besides], as I recall, you seduced me," Lucas countered. "All right, fine -- whoever seduced who --" Sami backpedaled. "Whom," Lucas clarified. "Are you really gonna be the grammar police right now?" Sami snapped. "Yep!" Lucas answered. "We both got what we needed that night," Sami continued before wondering if Lucas was truly willing to sit back and watch as only one of them suffered consequences for what had happened.
"You said yourself [that] things weren't going great between you and E.J., anyway, [so]..." Lucas reasoned. "I confided in you that I was having a rough time in my marriage, but that doesn't mean that it's over -- [though] it will be if E.J. finds out that I slept with you!" Sami countered. "Oh, yeah -- that's a bad one; it's a big betrayal --" Lucas teased. "Stop it -- I am serious right now! [Look], you have a choice here -- are you gonna let Kristen destroy my marriage...or are you gonna help me save it?" Sami begged.
"What about Chloe?" Lucas wondered. "What about her?" Sami responded. "I don't want to screw up her life!" Lucas clarified. "I'm not asking you to marry her, Lucas -- I'm just asking you to distract her from Brady!" Sami stressed. "[But] it's none of my business who she wants to be with!" Lucas argued. "Well, I wish I could say the same thing, but Kristen is making it my business!" Sami countered. "Kristen is a jealous lunatic!" Lucas spat. "I agree with you -- I mean, 100% -- [but] she has me over a barrel, [so] I have to help her!" Sami reasoned. "No matter who gets hurt in the process? Because Chloe is innocent --" Lucas protested. "That's debatable -- [I mean], she is going after a man who is [already] in a committed relationship with a woman...with 'whom'...he has a child," Sami reminded Lucas, who conceded the point.
"Listen, if you actually care about Chloe, you should really want to seduce her -- [I mean], you'd be keeping your friend safe, because as long as she's interested in Brady, she has a big old target on her back --" Sami noted. "What, you think Kristen's gonna kill her?" Lucas translated. "You know what happened when Brady was shot, right?" Sami -- who had seemingly just been misinterpreted but was clearly happy to play along -- challenged Lucas. "Kristen broke out of jail," Lucas recalled. "Yes -- and she pulled a gun on Chloe!" Sami elaborated. "Why doesn't that surprise me..." Lucas grumbled. "Because [she's] capable of anything. And the more she fixates on this idea of Chloe going after Brady, the more likely she is to do something about it," Sami summarized. "Did she say she was gonna hurt Chloe?" Lucas wondered. "She doesn't have to! This is Kristen -- it's just who she is!" Sami answered.
"If something happened to Chloe -- if her child were orphaned --" Sami continued. "You made your point," Lucas interjected. "So, you'll do it?" Sami assumed. "Yeah, I'll do it -- but I'm not happy about it," Lucas grumbled. "Which part -- the 'saving Chloe's life' part or the 'romancing a beautiful woman' part?" Sami asked incredulously. "The second part," Lucas tiredly replied.
"I don't want to pretend to have feelings for Chloe -- it's wrong!" Lucas explained. "Who says you have to pretend? [I mean], it's not like you never had feelings for her -- you were married to her [once, and] then you got back together [not that long ago, and when] you had to come to Italy to help me with Allie, it was hard for you to leave [Chloe, so] now you have a chance to fix it," Sami argued.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, Brady received a visit from Chloe, who wanted to talk about something that had just happened at Basic Black. "Gabi stormed into the office and demanded that we give the Titan warehouses back," Chloe revealed. "How nice... Okay, I'll talk to Philip about that -- and, next time, have Gabi call me personally," Brady advised.
Chloe nodded in response -- then admitted to Brady that there was another reason for the visit. "You're not even coming into work anymore, [and] I can't help but feel that me confessing my feelings for you [has] ruined our friendship -- and maybe poisoned our professional [relationship], as well --" Chloe began. "Chloe --" Brady protested. "[And now] the future of Basic Black is at stake here, and I would never forgive myself if I did something to cost you your company, [so]...I think I have to quit," Chloe concluded.
"I don't want you to quit -- [and besides], the business is functioning fine with my working remotely --" Brady argued. "I don't think it is -- I think it's affecting the way that people see us! [Look], it's your business, [so] people need to see you there and see you in charge!" Chloe countered. "They know --" Brady insisted. "I don't know if they do!" Chloe maintained.
"[And] things were fine [until] I made things all weird by admitting that I have feelings for you!" Chloe fretted. "You were just being honest," Brady acknowledged. "Yeah, I was being honest...but I also honestly thought that I saw something between us -- that the feeling was mutual -- and...I'm sorry that I was wrong, and for misreading your signals," Chloe stressed.
"You didn't," Brady admitted. "What?" Chloe stammered. "You were right -- I have feelings for you, too," Brady revealed. "But...you said..." Chloe protested. "I haven't been very honest with myself -- or you, for that matter -- and I've been doing everything I can to try to deny it [and] push it down...but I think it's been building for quite a while now," Brady explained.
"Are you saying that there's a chance for us?" Chloe wondered. "[Kristen] is the mother of my daughter, and it's been really hard [to have her] be in prison, but I made a commitment to her to wait for her so that our family could be together again, and...I can't disregard that commitment, [so]..." Brady answered, shrugging apologetically. "I understand," Chloe assured Brady, forcing a smile.
"I mean, I'll never feel like Kristen's right for you, but I accept your decision," Chloe elaborated before saying goodbye to Brady then heading back to the Salem Inn. "Going after a man who was in a committed relationship -- what did you think was gonna happen? You'll find someone..." Chloe mused while fighting back tears -- and Lucas arrived just then.
Kate headed over to the town square to have lunch with Jake -- and quickly realized that they were also going to have a serious conversation. "Should I drink this after, [or] do I need it for fortitude?" Kate wondered, eyeing the martini that Jake had ordered. "Hopefully, that's not necessary," Jake, who was drinking beer, assured Kate.
"[But] I have a bit of a confession -- [see, the other day, when I saw] that Philip and Gabi were on a date together...I was jealous," Jake revealed. "Okay... Are you telling me that you have feelings for Gabi [and] that you want to break up with me?" Kate assumed. "What? No! Why do you always go there? [Look], for the millionth time, I'm not breaking up with you! [But] I didn't tell you [this earlier because] I didn't want to hurt you...[and yet] I'm aware that keeping things from you is even more hurtful, [so]..." Jake clarified.
"I'm glad you told me -- [I mean], it's not that I really want to hear that, but I'm glad I know," Kate declared. "Good...because that's only part of the reason I asked you here -- [see], I have another confession, [which is that] I want to take you on a trip [so] we don't have to bump into Gabi and Philip every time we turn around," Jake admitted. "The town does seem awfully small sometimes..." Kate grumbled. "Yeah! I don't think I've ever walked through this square without bumping into somebody I know!" Jake stressed.
"[So], what did you have in mind -- something like a private island?" Kate wondered. "Something like that," Jake confirmed. "[And] that's how we would get over the jealousy," Kate summarized. "Yeah -- you know, I was hoping I could focus all my attention on you," Jake reasoned. "What about work?" Kate argued. "I'm CEO, baby -- I get to do whatever the hell I want!" Jake bragged. "But while you're gone, someone has to run the company," Kate countered. "Okay, so...I'll call Tony -- see if he wants to jump in and take the reins for a few weeks," Jake decided. "I'm sure he would -- the problem would be getting him to jump back out," Kate warned. "We'll cross that bridge when we have to," Jake insisted -- and Kate agreed after some thought then rushed off to the DiMera mansion to pack.
"Cheers, Gabi -- outta sight, outta mind..." Jake declared before finishing off the glass of beer then starting to follow Kate back to the DiMera mansion -- and running into Gabi on the way.
Kristen entered Statesville's visitors' lounge, still disguised as Susan, and begged Vivian for just a bit more time to think of a way to end Kate's relationship with Jake, vaguely explaining that the things that had always taken precedence before were finally about to be settled. Vivian tiredly translated that, in other words, Kristen didn't even have a plan to end Kate's relationship with Jake yet.
"I could seduce him," Kristen offered. "He's your brother!" Vivian protested. "We're not blood-related!" Kristen clarified. "[Still], I don't want him in your bed any more than I want him in Kate's!" Vivian stressed before guessing that Kristen wouldn't be able to seduce anyone while disguised as Susan, anyway. "Fine -- I will come up with something else!" Kristen grumbled. "You better, [or else] --" Vivian warned. "You know what? If I were you, I'd back off the threats, [because] the last person who threatened to expose me...let's just say it didn't end well for them!" Kristen countered.
"So, now, you're threatening me," Vivian summarized. "Read it how you will, Vivian...but just because you're in prison, [that] doesn't mean you're safe," Kristen responded. "[And] this other person -- [are you saying] you killed them? [Because] that's okay -- I mean, you can kill Kate --" Vivian excitedly declared. "No, I did not kill them -- and I'm not going to kill Kate, either! [Look], I simply...'disappeared' them," Kristen vaguely clarified. "What the hell does that mean?" Vivian demanded to know. "Let's just say it involved a mask, a suitcase, and a desert island," Kristen elaborated. "Okay -- that will be fine for Kate; you can do that to her, [too]. You just need to do it soon -- I want that tramp out of my son's life!" Vivian stressed. "Fine -- I will do it," Kristen promised.
After Kristen left Statesville, Vivian contacted Brady and canceled their scheduled meeting. "It was just a false alarm -- [see], I had a few, you know, worries...but I spoke to [Kristen] about it, and she assured me everything is absolutely fine now," Vivian explained.
Kate was at the DiMera mansion, picking out clothes to take on the trip that Jake was planning, when Kristen approached from behind, still disguised as Susan and back in character, and advised against taking a somewhat revealing garment, reasoning that not all women could pull off such a look. "Susan, you scared the hell out of me!" Kate snapped, prompting Kristen to insist, as Susan, that there was no need to be scared of a person who wasn't even capable of harming a fly.
Kate recognizes Kristen
Gabi ran into Jake in the square, and she demanded that Basic Black remove its merchandise from the Titan warehouses. "Why didn't we use our own warehouses?" Jake asked. "Apparently, there was some flooding issues, and Chloe was in a pinch, Philip saved the day. But now that Gabi Chic is with Titan, we're going to need those back," Gabi explained. Confused, Jake asked Gabi why she had not talked to Brady directly.
"Apparently, [Brady] has decided that he is not going to be coming into the office anymore," Gabi said. "What?" Jake asked. Gabi said that with Brady at home, she had decided it would be easiest to ask Jake. "What, you think you and I can't work this out together?" Gabi asked. Jake said he wanted to see the lease agreement. "There isn't [a lease agreement]. Philip was just trying to get into Chloe's...good graces," Gabi said. Jake smiled. Jake explained that he wanted to think the situation through first.
"I've learned that sometimes you just have to back away. You know, digging in your heels, fighting to hold onto something, it really just leads to disappointment," Gabi said. Gabi added that it was hard to let go of things that one believed belonged to them. "We still talking about warehouses here?" Jake asked. "Of course!" Gabi said. Jake smirked at Gabi. "I see you found Jake," Philip said as he walked into the square. Gabi said she had been talking to Jake about the warehouses.
"We need them back. Is that a problem?" Philip asked. With a broad grin, Jake said, "The warehouses are all yours, Phil. I'm happy to let them go. They were never mine to begin with." As Jake stared at Gabi, she thought about when Jake had emphatically rejected her in his office. Gabi also thought about their conversation in the DiMera mansion about remaining civil to one another. With a nod, Jake announced that he needed to leave to pack for his vacation with Kate.
"Where you going?" Gabi asked. "Secluded island. Romantic getaway," Jake said. "Have fun," Gabi said gruffly. Jake told Philip to call Chloe and ask her to remove the stock from the warehouses. "Thank you very much for making this so easy," Gabi said. "My pleasure," Jake said. To congratulate Gabi on the win, Philip bought her a cup of coffee. "It's not exactly a massive victory," Gabi said. Philip stressed that he saw it as a win. When Philip suggested that he and Gabi celebrate their victory over dinner, Gabi countered, "Why don't you take me back to your place instead?"
At Sami's direction, Lucas visited Chloe in her room at the Salem Inn. "Is everything okay?" Lucas asked. When Chloe admitted she was upset, Lucas said, "It's Brady, isn't it?" Chloe asked Lucas how he had known, and Lucas shrugged. "I know you guys are working together again, and I thought that that would stir up a bunch of old feelings," Lucas said. Chloe admitted that Lucas was right. When Chloe called herself pathetic, Lucas warned Chloe not to act on her feelings. Chloe explained that Brady had made his commitment to Kristen clear.
"You are too special to be crying over someone who doesn't [appreciate you]," Lucas said. When Lucas argued that Chloe should date someone that supported her and was available, Chloe asked Lucas who fit the bill. Lucas grinned. "Wait. You mean you?" Chloe asked. Lucas noted that it would not be strange to rekindle their romance.
"You left me," Chloe pointed out. "I didn't really leave you. I had to go to Italy to tend to Allie," Lucas said. Lucas added that he had thought about what his relationship with Chloe would look like if he had stayed in Salem. When Chloe remained silent, Lucas chuckled. Chloe noted that she was caught off guard by Lucas' suggestion, since they had not seen one another in a long time.
"You caught me. I have ulterior motives," Lucas admitted. Lucas said he understood Chloe's hesitancy. "I think you deserve to know the real reason why I'm so desperate that we're together," Lucas said. Chloe asked why, and Lucas thought about his conversation with Sami in the park about Kristen. "I'm dying," Lucas announced. Lucas lied and said that he had a brain tumor.
"I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry," Chloe whispered. Lucas admitted he was scared. "It hit me. I don't want to die alone," Lucas said. "I know this must be so scary for you, but you have to know that you're not alone. You have your mom, and your kids and friends," Chloe said. Chloe asked Lucas if he had talked to anyone yet. Lucas said he had not wanted to burden his kids. "I'm not going to tell anybody," Lucas stressed. Lucas made Chloe promise not to tell anyone about his illness. Concerned, Chloe asked why Lucas did not want anyone to know if he did not want to die alone.
"I don't want to die without love in my life," Lucas clarified. Lucas said he had thought about his life, and he had realized that he regretted that he had not stayed together with Chloe. With tears in her eyes, Chloe told Lucas that she cared about him. "I have really strong feelings for Brady, and even though there's probably no chance that anything will happen between us, I can't just turn those feelings off," Chloe said. Lucas said he understood. Chloe promised to support Lucas through his treatment. With a nod, Lucas hugged Chloe, and he said that Brady was crazy to pass on her. After Lucas left, he whispered, "What the hell did I just do?"
Sami returned to the penthouse, and she overheard Brady on the phone with Vivian. "Why were you talking to [Vivian]?" Sami asked. "She's my only way to get to Kristen," Brady said. Brady explained that Kristen had bonded with Vivian in prison. "I'm just hoping that [Kristen] is okay and that she doesn't screw up in there," Brady said. Sami thought about her conversation with Kristen about Susan having taken Kristen's place in prison.
"I'm not sure how it could get much worse," Sami blurted out. "Why would you say that?" Brady asked. With a shrug, Sami noted that Kristen could take care of herself. "I know [Kristen's] done a lot of awful things," Brady started. Sami laughed. "Yes! She has! To people we both love. Like the time that she kidnapped me so that I wouldn't tell my mom that she was trying to ruin my mom's wedding to your dad," Sami said. "I remember," Brady said. When Sami noted that she had wanted to kill Kristen, Brady nodded his head in agreement.
"I know you did, but you couldn't because you couldn't find her because she was dressed as Susan Banks," Brady said. "How about that," Sami said. With a smile, Sami asked about Kristen. Brady admitted that things were complicated, and he told Sami that Kristen had broken out of prison because she blamed Chloe for the shooting. "That's a little extreme," Sami said. "Thank God Marlena talked her down. Kristen truly believes that Chloe is a threat to our relationship," Brady said. Sami asked Brady if Kristen was right.
"I love Kristen," Brady stressed. Sami asked Brady if he had feelings for Chloe. "No," Brady said. Sami looked into Brady's eyes, and she gasped. "Oh, boy," Sami said. Caught, Brady admitted that his feelings for Chloe had taken him by surprise. "Maybe I just didn't want to admit it," Brady said. "For good reason," Sami said. Brady added that he had told Chloe that he was committed to Kristen. Sami gasped.
"You told Chloe that you have feelings for her?" Sami asked. Brady said yes. "Why would you do that? What if Kristen finds out?" Sami said. Suspicious, Brady asked Sami why it felt like Sami wanted him to be with Kristen. "What's going on?" Brady asked. Sami admitted that she hated Kristen, but she added that she believed that families should stay together.
"I feel exactly the same way," Brady said. "Good. So, you won't throw away your relationship because Chloe happens to be nearby," Sami said. Brady told Sami that he had been clear with Chloe, but Sami noted that it appeared as if Brady was still conflicted. Sami demanded the truth. "The truth is, the temptation is very much still there," Brady said. Sami noted that Chloe deserved to be with a man that was fully committed to Chloe. Brady swore that nothing would happen with Chloe.
"They call it temptation for a reason. Brady, you got to shut the door. Do not leave that opportunity open," Sami said. Brady agreed. "You give good advice, actually," Brady said. "One time!" Sami said with a laugh. After Brady left the room to go read a story to Rachel, Sami called Lucas on his cell phone. "What did you say? Did you profess your undying love?" Sami asked. "I wouldn't say undying," Lucas said.
In the DiMera living room, "Susan" surprised Kate. "What the hell are you doing in my house?" Kate demanded. "Susan" said that she had experienced a premonition. "It's a warning, and you are in terrible danger," "Susan" said. When Kate asked for specifics, "Susan" said that someone was after Kate. Kate asked who, but "Susan" admitted that she did not know. "You've got to pack your bags now and leave town," "Susan" said. Kate guffawed.
"Well, that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm packing my bags and leaving town," Kate said. "Susan" asked about the trip, and Kate explained that she and Jake were going out of town on vacation. "You can't go away with him!" "Susan" yelped. When Kate asked why, "Susan" said that Jake was the person that was after Kate. Kate asked "Susan" to leave.
"You have to listen to me! You have to get away from here, right now," Kristen said in her own voice. Kate noticed the change in "Susan's" voice. "Could you say that again," Kate said. "Susan" laughed and said she needed to go. "That's not how you sounded just a second ago," Kate said with narrowed eyes. When "Susan" played dumb, Kate said, "You know exactly what I mean, Kristen." Kate reached over and ripped Kristen's Susan wig off.
"What the hell is this?" Kate asked. "Susan" claimed that she had bought a wig to cover up a bad dye job. Frustrated, Kate warned Kristen to drop the act. "What the hell are you doing here? You're supposed to be in prison," Kate said. Kristen explained that she had switched places with Susan. "So, Susan is in prison? Does anyone know that?" Kate asked. Kristen told Kate that Vivian had asked Kristen to drive a wedge between Kate and Jake.
"Why are you even doing [Vivian's] bidding?" Kate asked. Kristen explained that Vivian had threatened to tell Brady about the switch with Susan. "Why don't you just tell [Vivian] that we broke up? I mean, she is in prison," Kate said. Kristen groaned in frustration. Kristen argued that Vivian would get the truth from Jake. With a shrug, Kate said she could not help Kristen.
"If Brady finds out, I may lose him," Kristen said. "You really should have thought about that before you started this ruse," Kate said. Kate ordered Kristen to leave. Furious, Kristen slammed a glass on the back of Kate's head and knocked Kate unconscious. Kristen struggled to drag Kate's body to the tunnels. "You had to make it complicated. Now I have to go to plan B," Kristen muttered. As Kristen dragged Kate's body behind the couch, Jake walked into the room. "Who the hell are you?" Jake asked.
At Julie's Place, Xander and Chanel waited for Paulina to arrive for their meeting. "I wonder how we'll spend that time 'til she gets here?" Chanel asked. Xander noticed the bottle of Champagne, and he asked Chanel if she had paid for it. "I figured by the time the bill comes, we'll have our hands on a cool ten mil, and it won't be a problem," Chanel said.
"If we play our cards right, it will pay off big for both of us," Xander said as he raised his glass. "And just what cards are those exactly?" Paulina asked. Xander lied and said he had told Chanel that he would never divorce Chanel if Paulina did not pay up. "Mama, I'm so sorry," Chanel said. "My niece told me you would be looking for a payout," Paulina said as she sat down at the table.
"I'm just hoping we can come to mutually agreeable terms," Xander said. When Xander demanded ten million dollars for a divorce, Paulina laughed. "When hell freezes over," Paulina said. Chanel pleaded with her mother for help so that she could get out of her marriage to Xander. "Do you have any idea what kind of man he is?" Chanel asked. Paulina said that Abe had filled her in on every detail.
"That must have been entertaining," Xander muttered. "It was disgusting! And for the record, I don't want my daughter anywhere near you," Paulina said. "I have no desire to be anywhere near your brat of a daughter," Xander countered. Paulina said she did not have the money. Xander told Paulina he did not believe her. Xander told Paulina that he had researched her real estate empire.
"You think I got this way by handing out bags of cash to every jacked-up scam artist that saw me coming?" Paulina asked. Chanel reminded Paulina that not every scam artist was married to Paulina's daughter. "I want this to be over," Chanel said.
"I see how this works. You make incredibly stupid mistakes, and then you expect your mama to clean up your mess?" Paulina asked. Chanel admitted that she had messed up, and she asked Paulina for her help. "You were just too lazy to get a job, so you went looking for a sugar daddy. Not my fault that you are stuck with this penniless dumb-ass instead," Paulina said. Paulina got up to leave.
"Hold on!" Xander said. Xander asked to negotiate. "My answer is not at any price," Paulina said. Chanel asked Paulina to stay. "This is your problem to fix," Paulina told Chanel. "I had a long talk with Lani earlier. She helped me see that I'm worth more than what I've been doing with my life," Chanel said. Chanel announced that she wanted to make something of her life like her mother.
"I can't do that if I'm stuck in this marriage. Xander would be like an anchor holding me down, keeping me from my dreams, from my goals. So please, Mama, help me get out of this so I can turn my life around," Chanel pleaded. Paulina admitted that she did not want to see Chanel tied up in a loveless marriage, but she refused to pay. "I'm sure there is a number that will make us both happy," Xander said. Xander rattled off numbers until he stopped at one million.
"That really is my last offer. If you're not willing to pay that, then I'm never giving your daughter a divorce," Xander said. After a moment, Paulina sat back down at the table and took out her checkbook. Chanel smiled at Xander. When Paulina handed the check to Xander, she said, "I hope you're happy." As Xander looked at the check, he noted that the check was for $100,000. "We agreed to one million," Xander said.
"If you ask me, it's $100,000 more than you deserve," Paulina said. When Xander started to argue, Paulina yelled that she would not give Xander a penny more. "Take it or leave it," Paulina said. After a moment, Xander agreed. "You're not as dumb as you look," Paulina said. "What the hell are you doing?" Chanel asked Xander. Xander gave Chanel a warning look. "That's only $50,000 each," Chanel grumbled. "Each? I beg your pardon?" Paulina barked.