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Monday, August 22, 2016
by Mike

At the Salem Inn, Chloe awoke with a start after a nightmare about Deimos. Meanwhile, Claire arrived with a bag of bagels. "I wasn't sure how you felt about lox. I know it's kind of a --" Claire started to say, but Chloe interrupted and abruptly excused herself before rushing into the bathroom and shutting the door.

When Chloe emerged from the bathroom a short time later, she started to make up an excuse for her nausea, but she stopped herself when she noticed that Claire was standing at the desk, right next to a pamphlet about abortion. "You know," Chloe guessed. Chloe stressed that she had decided not to have an abortion. Chloe also made it clear that no one else -- aside from Philip, whom she had already confided in -- could know that she was pregnant. "And the father, right?" Claire asked.

Chloe declined to elaborate on the matter, pointing out, as politely as possible, that Claire was her assistant, not her best friend. Chloe reiterated, however, that she didn't want Claire to mention the pregnancy to anyone. Nodding, Claire confirmed that she understood. Claire started to add that she had thrown out the bagels, but she quickly realized that it wasn't a good idea to even mention food to Chloe at that time.

Chloe revealed that she planned to meet with Philip later to discuss what they were going to do about their record deal in light of the development, and she apologetically added that their decision could end up affecting Claire's employment. Claire protested that other singers, such as Beyoncé and Carrie Underwood, had managed to record albums while pregnant. Chloe wondered if Claire thought she was in the same league as those singers. Claire hesitantly confirmed that she did. "Good answer," Chloe replied with a laugh, ignoring the obvious hint of uncertainty that had accompanied Claire's response.

Later, after sending Claire off to take care of a few errands, Chloe contacted Philip and informed him that she had decided to keep the baby and move forward with their plan to record an album. Philip warned that Deimos would eventually realize that Chloe was pregnant. Chloe admitted that she hadn't figured out how to deal with that yet, but she maintained that Deimos could never know that he was the baby's father.

At Club TBD, Shawn told Belle that one of Salem University's counselors had assured him that Claire wouldn't have to reapply to the college if she deferred for a year. Belle didn't find that comforting because she didn't want Claire to defer for a year. Shawn agreed but feared that pushing too hard for Claire to go to college would only make matters worse. Shawn optimistically reasoned that Claire would probably grow tired of fetching lattes for Chloe soon enough, anyway.

Belle admitted that buying Edge of the Square for Claire had been a mistake. "It's like I set her up to fail," Belle added with a sigh. Shawn assured Belle that Claire didn't see things that way. Belle started to suggest asking Claire to sing at the nightclub, but she quickly stopped herself, realizing that she would just be repeating the same mistake. Nodding, Shawn reasoned that he and Belle needed to let Claire succeed -- or fail -- on her own. Chuckling, Belle observed that Shawn was starting to sound like Philip. Shawn wasn't particularly thrilled to hear that, begging Belle to promise that she would shoot him if he ever reminded her of Philip again.

Belle ignored the request and admitted that she didn't want to lose Claire -- or Shawn. Shawn assured Belle that she would never lose Claire, but he didn't bother to pretend that he was just as confident that Belle would never lose him. Instead, he admitted that although he knew that Belle truly loved him, he wasn't sure how she felt about Philip. "We can't even have a conversation without his name coming up," Shawn pointed out. Belle insisted that she wanted Philip out of her life, and she promised that if Shawn never mentioned Philip's name again, she wouldn't, either.

Meanwhile, Philip entered the club. After spotting Philip, Shawn passionately kissed Belle, who smiled and wondered what she had done to deserve the seemingly spontaneous display of affection. Shawn claimed that he was simply happy. Philip watched enviously as Shawn gave Belle another kiss. A short time later, after Shawn said farewell to Belle and headed back to work, Philip approached her and claimed that he was glad to see that things were going well. Philip quickly added that he was starting to think that it would be a mistake to keep her as a silent partner in his record label.

Confused, Belle wondered if Philip was saying that he wanted her to stop being silent. Philip clarified that he wanted Belle to stay silent -- a part of their deal that she had been having trouble honoring lately. Philip pointed out that Belle had originally asked him to extend Claire a record deal but had later begun hassling him to keep Claire out of the business. Belle insisted that Philip was in no position to question her parenting choices. Philip conceded the point and stressed that he didn't care either way. "I just don't want to [inadvertently] punish Claire because you're driving me nuts," he bluntly added.

Taken aback, Belle promised to bite her tongue in the future. Philip clarified that he would prefer to find someone who was willing to buy Belle out of the record label, reasoning that they should have known all along that working together would be a bad idea. Offended, Belle guessed that Philip was really just trying to punish her for choosing Shawn. "Why do you think everything's about you? This isn't personal," Philip insisted. Belle wasn't convinced, but Philip maintained that he simply didn't want personal baggage to affect business matters. "Then why sign Chloe Lane? How's that for baggage?" Belle countered.

Philip wanted to know why Belle was upset about his desire to buy her out, so she told him that she didn't think he would be able to, and she didn't want to be stuck in an investment with a business partner who didn't appreciate her contributions. Confused, Philip wondered why Belle doubted his ability to find another backer. "Investors tend to shy away from guys who don't know what they want or how to get it," Belle explained before walking away.

After running errands for Chloe, Claire returned to the Salem Inn and, upon finding the room empty, began working on a song. Chloe soon emerged from the bathroom and said she liked what she had just heard. Meanwhile, Philip arrived to talk to Chloe about something. Chloe asked Claire for some privacy but encouraged her to keep working on the song. Claire went to a secluded section of the town square to do just that, and as she was singing the song again, Shawn passed through the area and paused to listen to it.

Chloe was stunned when Philip offered to pretend that he was the one who had gotten her pregnant, reasoning that, given their history, no one would even think to question the story. Chloe conceded the point but struggled to understand why Philip would want to do something that drastic just to help her. Philip stressed that he had always cared about Chloe as well as Parker. Philip added that he didn't expect to have any say in how Chloe raised the child. "I don't know what other choice you have, Chloe. Do you want Deimos out of your life or not?" Philip asked.

Nicole went to the Kiriakis townhouse to see Maggie, who was preparing to undergo surgery later that day. Nicole handed Daniel's hospital badge to Maggie as a token of good luck. Nicole was surprised to learn that Deimos was the one who had made the surgery possible. Victor admitted that, even so, he was still wary of Deimos. Nicole understood that but chose to believe that Deimos' intentions were pure.

"Oh, Nicole, I hope you're not falling under his thrall. I warned you," Victor replied. Nicole urged Victor to just be grateful that Maggie was about to undergo a promising surgical procedure and that nobody had died before he and Deimos had decided to call a truce. Nicole added that, with the truce in place, Victor was free to go back to being the domesticated man who had been changed thanks to the love of a good woman. Smiling, Victor agreed that Maggie's love had changed him. "I suppose I should be thankful that someone or something caused Deimos to do the same," he added.

Later, Nicole went to the Kiriakis mansion to inform Deimos that she had decided to return to Basic Black. "That's great, but why stop at Basic Black?" Deimos wondered. Nicole tried to convince Deimos that he needed to slow down, but he gently reasoned that Daniel's death should have taught her that waiting was pointless and risky. "I mean, personally, I would love to start a family [right away]," Deimos added.

Nicole sadly informed Deimos that she had sustained a gunshot wound years earlier that had made it difficult for her to get pregnant -- and impossible for her to carry babies to term. Deimos was sorry to hear that, but he assured Nicole that it didn't change how he felt about her. Deimos pointed out that if he and Nicole really wanted to start a family together, they could still do so, either via adoption or a surrogate. Deimos conceded, however, that if Nicole wanted to take things slowly, he would be fine with that.

Choosing to just be happy that Nicole had agreed to return to Basic Black, Deimos wondered what had caused her to reach that decision. Nicole explained that she had heard about what Deimos had done for Maggie. Deimos wondered how Maggie's surgery was going. Nicole said she was planning to go to the hospital later to find out, and she encouraged Deimos to accompany her.

Deimos reminded Nicole that she had just finished telling him about the virtues of taking things slowly. Deimos doubted that Victor would welcome his presence at the hospital, but Nicole dismissively pointed out that Victor rarely welcomed anyone's presence anywhere. Nicole reasoned that if Deimos went with her to the hospital, it would show that he cared about Maggie's well-being. Nicole added that she wanted everyone to get along because Maggie would have a better chance of a full recovery if everyone did everything they could to keep her stress-free.

At the hospital, Sonny waited with Victor as Maggie underwent surgery. Dr. Hochman eventually tracked the men down and informed them that the surgery had gone well. Hochman warned, however, that it was still too soon to tell whether Maggie would regain the use of her legs. Later, as Maggie regained consciousness, Nicole and Deimos joined Victor and Sonny in her room.

. . .

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