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Friday, September 22, 2017
by Mike

Brady found Nicole in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, trying to secure donations for the Horton Center to solve its budget issues. When he realized that she had woken up early that day just to contact potential donors, he observed that she seemed to really love her job. "I can't even believe I thought about quitting," she replied before rushing off to the Horton Center, oblivious to his annoyance.

At the Horton Town Square, Jennifer and Abigail went through a checklist to make sure that everything was ready for the following day's double wedding. When Jennifer pointed out that the obligatory bachelorette party was missing from the list, Abigail explained that she was planning to skip that part of the pre-wedding ritual. "[Who would] throw it for me -- Gabi? I mean, I'm lucky she's even coming to the wedding," Abigail reasoned. Insisting that Abigail had to have a bachelorette party, Jennifer volunteered to host the event herself. "[It'll] be awesome, [and you'll] have the time of your life," Jennifer promised as Abigail nodded skeptically.

Nicole was surprised when she arrived at the Horton Center and found Jason sitting at Eric's desk. Nicole started to apologetically inform Jason that she hadn't managed to find a job for him yet, but he interrupted to clarify that he had just been given one -- at the Horton Center. Confused, Nicole admitted that she had been under the impression that the Horton Center didn't have enough money in its budget to afford another staff member. "But if Eric hired you, he must have managed to work something out," Nicole concluded with a shrug.

After welcoming Jason to the Horton Center team, Nicole started to excuse herself so she could find a different desk for him to use. Feeling a bit awkward about knowing so much more than Nicole did, Jason explained that he was using Eric's desk because Eric was no longer working at the Horton Center. Nicole was outraged that the Horton Center's most valuable staff member had been unceremoniously fired. When Jason clarified that Eric had actually quit, Nicole insisted that couldn't be right because Eric hadn't mentioned anything about quitting when she had seen him the previous day. Shrugging, Jason elaborated, "[Look], all I know is, he called me late last night [and] told me to come in this morning. [When I got here], he told me he was leaving -- and that you'd be in charge, and I'd be taking over your duties."

Hurt and confused, Nicole wondered why Eric hadn't bothered to tell her about the sudden changes. Jason handed Nicole an envelope that contained a letter from Eric, assuming that it might answer at least some of her questions. As Nicole stared at the envelope, Jason offered her a chance to reverse Eric's decision to hire him. Nicole assured Jason that she was looking forward to working with him. Nodding, Jason rushed off to fill out his payroll paperwork. Alone in the office, Nicole opened the envelope and began reading Eric's letter, pausing from time to time to complain about the way he had chosen to handle the situation.

In the letter, Eric explained to Nicole, "There's one thing I want to make very clear: the reason I'm leaving has everything to do with you. When I came back to Salem and took the job at the Center, I brought with me so much guilt. After what I had done to Daniel, I was convinced I didn't deserve to even be alive, let alone ever find happiness. Working at the Center, helping other people, did a lot to reshape that perspective, but in the end, you were the game changer. When you forgave me, everything shifted. That we're actually friends again is beyond anything I could have ever hoped for and means more to me than you will ever know, but now that we're in a good place, I feel it's time to leave Salem."

"But you can't leave!" Nicole protested as she finished reading the letter. Jason soon returned and wondered if Eric's letter had provided Nicole with any answers. "In a way, still doesn't make any sense," Nicole replied before abruptly excusing herself, leaving Jason in charge of answering the phones so she could track Eric down and talk to him before it was too late. Nicole tried to contact Eric on her way out of the Horton Center, but her call went to voicemail.

While Abigail was warning Jennifer that strippers weren't allowed at the bachelorette party -- and that cheesy games weren't allowed, either -- Eric approached and greeted them. Knowing that Eric had contacted Jennifer earlier to let her know that he had something important to tell her, Abigail rushed off so they could have some privacy, dismissing his attempts to apologize for the interruption.

Jennifer was stunned when Eric revealed that he had resigned from the Horton Center and was planning to leave Salem later that day. Jennifer tried to change Eric's mind, insisting that the Horton Center needed him, but he made it clear that his decision was final. "Does [this] have anything to do with Nicole?" Jennifer asked, knowing that Eric had always had unresolved feelings for Nicole. Shaking his head, Eric claimed that he was moving on simply because he knew in his gut that it was the right thing to do. "Okay, so maybe your time at the Center is done, but why leave Salem? Why leave your family and your friends?" Jennifer wondered. "Because as much as I know I'm gonna miss [them], just being here is a constant reminder of all the mistakes I've made [and] the people I've hurt. I need to move on, make a fresh start," Eric explained.

Jennifer suspected that Eric was actually planning to go into hiding again as a way of running from something, but he insisted that wasn't the case. "This isn't like when I came out of prison. I'm not the same person I was then -- thanks, in large part, to you. You opened my eyes [and] made me see that my life wasn't over -- that I could do some real good -- and I'm gonna take that wherever I go," Eric assured Jennifer, who hoped he meant that.

Eric tried to thank Jennifer for everything she had done for him, but she insisted that he didn't owe her any gratitude because she had been happy to help him. Jennifer stressed that she was going to miss Eric, and he admitted that he was going to miss her, too. When Eric jokingly added that he was especially going to miss Jennifer's regular attempts to fatten him up with doughnuts, she promised that she would send him a batch from time to time if he kept in touch with her at his new address. After assuring Jennifer that he planned to do that, Eric gave her a hug then rushed off.

Later, Nicole bumped into Jennifer while en route to the Martin mansion to see Eric. Nicole apologized to Jennifer then started to rush off, explaining why she was in such a hurry. "You're too late," Jennifer revealed.

Meanwhile, at the Kiriakis mansion, Brady dialed the Horton Center's number, grumbling, "Eric should have fired Nicole by now, [so] where the hell is she?" When Jason answered the call, Brady asked to talk to Nicole. "Sorry -- she's not here. But I'm taking over her duties. Is there something I can help you with?" Jason replied. Brady declined the offer and abruptly ended the call as a smile of satisfaction stretched across his face.

Chad was struggling with his wedding vows when Andre joined him in the living room of the DiMera mansion and joked, "You'd think professing your love for Abigail would be a no-brainer for you by now." Pleased that Abigail wasn't around, Andre seized the opportunity to announce that he was planning to host a bachelor party for Chad. "It is my duty as your older brother to give you an evening of debauchery," Andre pointed out.

Chuckling, Chad guessed that Andre's idea of a good bachelor party would probably involve martinis at one of Salem's finest restaurants. "Well, it's not as if [I'm] gonna throw you some crass, vulgar evening!" Andre defensively countered. Chad insisted that he didn't need a bachelor party, but Andre refused to cancel it, explaining that he wanted to do something for Chad to prove that he valued their relationship. Giving in, Chad warned Andre not to invite strippers to the bachelor party. "Of course not!" Andre agreed with a mischievous grin.

Chad soon turned his attention back to his wedding vows. After a few minutes, Chad looked up from his mostly blank sheet of paper to ask Andre something -- and saw that his brother was staring at Stefano's portrait and seemed to be deep in thought. "Wondering what kind of bachelor party the old man would be throwing?" Chad guessed. "I shudder to think," Andre replied with a chuckle.

Andre explained to Chad that he had actually been thinking about how different things would have been if Stefano had been able to raise them from birth. "We'd probably be more screwed up than we already are," Chad guessed. "Speak for yourself!" Andre countered. Chad admitted that he had always wanted siblings as a child, and Andre admitted that he had, too. "Then I met E.J., Lexie, [and] Kristen, and I felt like I was part of a family...and then they just started disappearing, one by one," Chad continued. "And you ended up with me. How tragic was that?" Andre dryly concluded.

Chad confirmed that Andre certainly wasn't the type of brother he had always imagined having as a child. "But, you know, you have your moments," Chad conceded. "You're not so bad yourself...and besides, we're stuck with each other," Andre replied. Andre thought it would therefore be wise to continue fostering a relationship with his only living brother, and Chad felt the same way, summarizing, "We should stick with each other instead of sticking it to each other. Know what I'm saying, bro?" Andre agreed with the sentiment but warned Chad, "Don't call me 'bro' [ever again]."

When Abigail returned home a short time later, Andre excused himself so he could finish making preparations for his big event. Chad nervously explained to Abigail that Andre was planning to host a bachelor party for him, prompting her to reveal that she, too, was being treated to a party later. "Thanks again, brah!" Chad called out as Andre exited the mansion. Andre paused to give Chad a glare before continuing on his way.

Abigail soon received a phone call from Justin. Abigail excitedly greeted Justin, assuming that he was calling to confirm that her annulment had been finalized, but her smile faded as she listened to what he had to say. "We might not be getting married tomorrow," Abigail informed Chad after ending the call.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Paul roused Sonny, who had been tossing and turning in his sleep. "Did I say something?" Sonny asked Paul worriedly after getting his bearings. Paul clarified that Sonny had simply seemed agitated -- presumably because he had been in the middle of a dream. "Do you remember what [it was] about?" Paul wondered.

In the dream, Sonny had been in bed with Will, celebrating their reunion. During a quick break from the celebration, Will had told Sonny, "I'm so happy that we worked things out." Smiling, Sonny had agreed, "Me, too! To think we might have ended our marriage? I am so happy I came back from Paris to be with you -- my husband. I love you so much." When Sonny had tried to pick up where he had left off with Will, Will had pulled away and asked, "If you love me, why are you marrying him tomorrow?" Paul had then appeared on the other side of the bed and demanded to know, "[Sonny], why are you thinking about Will when we're about to get married? I don't understand. I thought you loved me, [so] what's going on?"

"Do you remember what you were dreaming about?" Paul repeated as Sonny stared sadly at the empty spot where Will had been in his dream. "[It's] all fuzzy," Sonny claimed with a shrug before abruptly changing the subject, reminding Paul that they were supposed to be filling out a questionnaire at St. Luke's later that day. Paul got the hint that Sonny didn't want to talk about the dream, but he insisted that, at the very least, they needed to talk about Lucas' drunken tirade at St. Luke's. "What's there to talk about? The guy fell off the wagon. It just shows the world that some people shouldn't drink," Sonny replied.

Paul argued that Lucas was obviously in a lot of pain. "And he's not the only one," Paul continued, adding that Lucas' comments had made it clear that there were unresolved issues involving Will that needed to be discussed before the wedding. Sonny dismissively assured Paul that they could have that discussion later. Sonny then rushed off in search of fresh clothes and fresh coffee, leaving Paul looking a bit confused.

When Paul joined Sonny in the living room a short time later, Brady was in the process of planning a bachelor party. Sonny was surprised to learn that it was only for Paul, but Brady reasoned that it simply didn't make sense to have a joint bachelor party for the two grooms. "Will and I had a joint bachelor party before we..." Sonny began to protest before letting his voice trail off. "Got married?" Paul helpfully concluded for Sonny.

"It's okay, Sonny -- you can talk about Will. And your wedding to him. I'm not gonna break," Paul assured Sonny with a chuckle. "I just didn't want you to think I was comparing what he and I did..." Sonny began to explain before letting his voice trail off again. Brady interjected that Paul deserved a big farewell to bachelorhood because it was going to be his first trip down the aisle. Sonny absently agreed to the idea of separate bachelor parties then rushed off in search of food. Paul seized the opportunity to ask if the recent tension between Brady and Eric had been resolved. "[We] have an understanding," Brady vaguely replied.

Paul started to probe for more details, but Sonny interrupted, announcing that his search for food had been fruitless. Paul soon rushed off to run some errands, giving Sonny a chance to discuss business with Brady.

When Sonny tried to assure Brady that he would be ready to reclaim his position as Titan's CEO as soon as he got back from his honeymoon, Brady countered that there was no reason to change things because the company was thriving under his leadership. Stunned, Sonny insisted, "I'm the CEO. You are not." Sonny added that he had turned his life upside down to get Deimos out of Titan in time to save the company from being driven into the ground while Brady had been more concerned with "playing fugitives-on-the-run" with Nicole in Canada during that time. "And I did a damn good job, and you know it!" Sonny continued.

Brady argued that Sonny had, in fact, caused "a hell of a lot of upheaval" when he had decided to fire fifty of Titan's employees. Sonny stressed that he had only done that as a way of proving himself. Sonny added that his time behind bars had softened his perspective, leaving him determined to rehire at least some of those employees as a way of fixing his mistake. "Good idea. I already did it, though," Brady dismissively replied.

While Sonny was absorbing that news, Brady continued, "And while we're on the subject of your [jail] stint, let me tell you that you may have had your case thrown out [due to] lack of evidence, but there's still a dark cloud of suspicion hanging over you, [and] since Deimos' murder case is still open..." Sonny protested that he hadn't killed Deimos -- and had, in fact, been cleared of all charges -- but Brady maintained that Titan's shareholders -- and the general public -- might have lingering doubts about Sonny's innocence.

"[So I think] we should just keep the status quo," Brady concluded with a shrug of finality. "Screw the status quo! I earned the position of CEO, and I'm not gonna hand it over to you -- not without a fight," Sonny countered before storming out of the mansion.

After taking care of a few errands, Paul went to St. Luke's to meet up with Sonny, who arrived while Paul was on the phone with Tori, speaking to her in Japanese. Paul reported, after ending the call and releasing a heavy sigh, that his mother wasn't going to be able to make it to the wedding because his grandfather was in the hospital. "[It's nothing serious, but] she doesn't want to leave his side," Paul continued.

When Sonny suggested that it might be best to postpone the wedding, Paul said that his mother had insisted that she didn't want them to change their plans just for her sake. Paul added that he was okay with sticking with the original plan. Sonny assured Paul that they would take lots of pictures to send to Tori. Changing the subject, Sonny wondered if Paul was ready to fill out the questionnaire.

"Okay, first question -- why don't you want to talk about Will?" Paul asked.

On the next Days of our Lives...

• Bonnie flirts with Victor.

• Sonny and Paul have an honest discussion about Will.

• Eli has an unexpected encounter with someone from his past.

• Hope and Rafe realize that they have both expressed interest in a promotion.

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