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Friday, February 17, 2017

In the town square, Rafe, Hope, Valerie, Abe, Doug, and Julie laughed and talked as they strolled along. Julie's phone rang. After listening to the caller, Julie cried out in anguish. Worried, Doug asked what was wrong. Julie announced that her son, David Banning, had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Valerie's face trembled, but she kept herself from breaking down. Everyone circled Julie to comfort her. Julie lamented that she had not spent more time with her son when he had been alive.

Abe noticed that Valerie was upset. When Abe reached out to her, Valerie excused herself. As Abe stood there confused, Hope gasped with the realization that David had been Valerie's first love. Abe chastised himself for forgetting about Valerie's connection to David. Abe ran after Valerie. As Julie collected herself, Doug escorted her home.

Hope and Rafe walked back to Club TBD to make phone calls for Julie. Once the calls were made, Rafe turned on some music and asked Hope to dance. Smiling, Hope twirled into Rafe's arms. She thanked him for saving her life. Rafe kissed Hope.

In the park, Valerie sat on the park bench, staring into the distance. Marlena saw her and said hello. When Marlena saw Valerie's face, she asked what was wrong. Valerie informed Marlena about David's death. Marlena wondered aloud about David's son. Valerie's face blanched. Marlena noted that Scotty would be devastated about his father. Valerie sighed. Noting Valerie's discomfort, Marlena asked if something else was going on.

Struggling to find the words, Valerie explained that her relationship with David had been very tumultuous. Valerie stared into the distance and noted that she still felt like David was a part of her life. When Marlena asked what Valerie meant, Valerie said she wanted to tell Marlena something confidential. Before Valerie could explain, Abe entered the clearing and asked Valerie if she was okay. Marlena urged Valerie to call her, and she left.

Turning to Abe, Valerie told him that she wanted to be alone. Abe told Valerie that he was sorry for her loss. After Abe left, Valerie whispered to David, "Why didn't I tell you when I had the chance? Now it's too late. It's too late."

In a Salem alleyway, Adrienne saw an unconscious Paul crumpled up on the ground. Adrienne rushed to Paul's side as he groggily woke up. Panicked by the blood, Adrienne told Paul that he needed to go to the hospital. Paul refused, and he said that two men had taken Sonny. Adrienne growled that the war over the Orwell device had gotten worse.

Citing concerns for Sonny, Adrienne decided not to call the police. Paul and Adrienne reasoned aloud that Sonny had been kidnapped in retaliation for Chad and Gabi's kidnapping or as leverage against it. Furious, Adrienne called Justin. When Justin did not answer, Paul and Adrienne decided to confront Deimos.

In the Kiriakis living room, a cocky Deimos told Brady not to worry about Nicole's custody hearing. Suspicious, Brady asked Deimos why he was so confident. Deimos said that birth mothers were favored in custody cases, and he was optimistic. Brady was not fooled and pressed Deimos to tell him what he had done.

In the foyer, Justin told Nicole that she had a good shot at securing custody of her daughter, Holly. The courthouse called Justin and informed him that the custody hearing would be a closed-door hearing in the judge's chambers. Justin and Nicole walked into the living room, and Justin told Deimos that outside parties could not attend the hearing. Deimos wanted to go to the courthouse, but Nicole urged him to stay home and wait for her.

Justin asked Deimos if Sonny had talked to him yet. With a shrug, Deimos said he had not heard from Sonny. Deimos asked Justin to focus on Nicole's case. With a nod, Justin led Nicole out of the house. Brady asked Deimos about the Orwell, but Deimos said he was preoccupied with the change of venue in the custody case. Raising a suspicious eyebrow, Brady asked Deimos if he had done something.

Deimos admitted that he had bribed the judge that had been assigned to Nicole's case. With a groan, Brady warned Deimos that if anyone learned about the bribe, it could hurt Nicole's chance at securing custody of Holly. Brady told Deimos that he had acted stupidly. The front door banged open, and Adrienne and Paul marched into the living room to confront Deimos about Gabi and Chad's kidnapping. Brady was shocked.

Adrienne added that Sonny had been kidnapped because of Deimos' actions. Deimos was skeptical that Sonny had been kidnapped, but Paul explained that he had been in the alley with Sonny when it had happened. When Adrienne ranted about Deimos' obsession with the Orwell key, Deimos grew agitated that Adrienne knew so much about the device. Deimos remembered that Adrienne had eavesdropped on his conversation about the key, and he barked at Adrienne to stop making up news stories.

Brady demanded to know if Deimos had kidnapped Chad and Gabi. Avoiding the question, Deimos noted that the Kiriakis family had a lot of enemies. Deimos argued there was no proof that Sonny had been kidnapped. Enraged, Adrienne demanded the return of her son as she clawed at Deimos.

In the judge's chambers at the courthouse, Chloe was reluctant to hand over baby Holly to the representative from Child Protective Services. Belle calmed Chloe's nerves, and Chloe reluctantly handed the baby over. After the representative left with Holly, Nicole and Justin entered the chambers. Nicole asked Chloe to call off the hearing and continue to be a part of Holly's life. Chloe asked Nicole if she was willing to give up Deimos. When Nicole remained silent, Chloe smugly grunted a "thought so."

Judge Duncan entered chambers and announced that Judge Pearce had recused himself. With a nod toward Belle, Judge Duncan said counsel would explain. Belle announced that her private investigator had discovered that Deimos had had direct contact with Judge Pearce. Chloe glared at Nicole. Shaking her head in disbelief, Nicole protested that she did not know anything about Deimos' contact with the judge. Judge Duncan asked Belle to present her case.

Belle's statement argued that Nicole was a former porn star and had committed multiple felonies in her life. Justin interrupted to comment that Chloe had her own long list of felonies. Justin added that the information was irrelevant because Nicole was Holly's biological mother. The judge asked Belle to continue. Belle said that Deimos had not only influenced Judge Pearce but had also wielded such influence with Nicole that she had stabbed someone on his behalf. Nicole interjected that she had acted to save Deimos' life. Belle argued that Nicole was living in a dangerous environment.

When it was Justin's turn to present his argument, he noted that the overwhelming case law supported granting custody to the biological mother. Justin added that both Nicole and Chloe had made mistakes, but they had been best friends and had changed into better people through the years. Pointing at Chloe, Justin reminded the judge that Chloe had lied about the maternity of Holly and had kept the truth from Nicole even after she had woken from her stroke. Justin noted that Nicole had risked her life to help Chloe give birth, and Chloe had a past history of postpartum depression.

Chloe objected and noted that she had only suffered postpartum depression with her first child. As the judge thanked the lawyers, Nicole asked if she could speak. The judge nodded yes. Nicole explained that she had always wanted a child and had suffered greatly through the loss of two pregnancies. Fighting tears, Nicole said she would do anything to protect Holly. The judge thanked everyone for their comments, and after a brief break, Judge Duncan announced that she had reached a verdict.

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