Monday, February 8, 2016
by Mike

At the Horton house, Chad tried to convince Abigail to elope with him, pointing out that he didn't really have anyone to invite to a big wedding in Salem, anyway -- and her family wasn't exactly going to be begging for the opportunity to watch her marry a DiMera. Chad added that he and Abigail could go on an extended honeymoon with the money they had been planning to spend on the wedding, giving the renovators plenty of time to redo the DiMera mansion while they were out of town.

Abigail protested that weddings were a big deal in her family, and although she didn't need anything fancy, she did need to believe that it would be possible for her family to accept Chad and happily support them on the day they exchanged their vows. "I understand, but I am terrified that if we stay in Salem and Andre has his way, there won't be a wedding," Chad admitted. Abigail wondered if Chad was eager to elope because he feared that if he stayed in Salem long enough, he might eventually start to believe Andre's theory about Hope.

In Maui, Steve grew frustrated after the latest in a series of failed attempts to contact Joey. Ava impatiently told Steve to focus on finding their son, assuring him that Kayla had undoubtedly been rescued already because Joey had been told exactly where to find her. Steve stressed that he wanted to find Ava's child just as much as she did -- if only because doing so would allow him to return to Salem and reunite with Kayla and Joey. Steve wasn't ready to stop trying to reach his family, though, so he handed Ava her cell phone and told her to try getting in touch with their contact as a way of making herself useful in the meantime.

At the hospital, Fynn told Kayla she was lucky that her fall hadn't resulted in a skull fracture or any other serious injuries. Fynn wanted to do an MRI of Kayla's cervical spine as a precaution, but she insisted that wasn't necessary because she wasn't experiencing any troubling symptoms. Fynn agreed to release Kayla after she promised that she would return to the hospital at the first sign of a concussion.

After Fynn went to get Kayla's discharge papers, Joey wondered why she had lied about what had happened to her. Kayla explained that Fynn would have been obliged to contact the police if she had told him the truth, and she didn't want to get anyone else involved until she was sure that Steve was all right. Joey felt responsible for what had happened, but Kayla assured him that Ava would have just found some other way to get to them if her plan to use Joey had failed.

Kayla wondered how Joey had managed to find her. Joey claimed that he had broken into Ava's room, gone through her things, and discovered a receipt to a basement office she had rented -- which had seemed odd to him because she didn't have a job. Joey added that he had decided to check the place out on his own after failing to get in touch with Steve. "How did you even know how to --" Kayla began to ask. "I guess I learned a lot from Dad," Joey replied before Kayla managed to finish the question. Joey rushed off after adding that he was going to see if he could snag a cab downstairs. In the hallway, Joey wiped his brow and exhaled nervously.

Later that day, Joey returned home with Kayla and quickly began trying to tend to her every need so she wouldn't overexert herself. Kayla assured Joey that she was fine and didn't need to be taken care of, adding that she was more worried about Steve than herself. "Dad can take care of himself," Joey stated with a hint of bitterness.

Kayla left the room for a moment, and while she was gone, Joey received a phone call from Steve. "What?" Joey asked Steve in lieu of a proper greeting. Steve wondered if Kayla was all right. "Yeah, she's fine. Took you long enough to call," Joey angrily replied. Steve explained that he had been trying to get in touch with Joey for the past few hours. "Don't pretend you care," Joey snapped. Steve insisted that he did care, and he promised that when he returned home, he would explain why Joey had caught him kissing Ava earlier.

"You can't [explain]. Don't come home. I don't want you here -- and neither does Mom," Joey spat -- just as Kayla reentered the room. Kayla grabbed Joey's cell phone and greeted Steve, who informed her that he was out of the country at that time, trying to track down Ava's son. Kayla vowed to press charges against Ava and have her sent to jail for a very long time, and when Steve didn't respond, Kayla demanded to know if he was with Ava. Steve dodged the question, ending the call after promising that he would explain everything as soon as he got back to Salem.

Kayla called Roman and left him a voicemail message, explaining that Steve might be in danger -- and that she wanted to press charges against Ava. After ending the call, Kayla wondered why Joey was upset with Steve. "He took off on a plane while you were kidnapped, for God's sake!" Joey pointed out, but Kayla suspected that there was more to the story. Kayla urged Joey to tell her the whole truth right away, reminding him that things hadn't worked out very well the last time he had kept information about Ava to himself. Insisting that he had already told Kayla everything he knew, Joey rushed off to his room after advising her to get some rest.

After ending a phone call, Ava wrapped her arms around Steve as she announced that someone was being sent to the hotel to give them some information about their son. Steve shoved Ava off him and warned her to never touch him like that again. "I hate you. You disgust me. Why don't you get that through your head, you crazy woman?" Steve added, prompting Ava to complain that he was being cruel.

Steve asked if Ava expected him to thank her for blackmailing him into having sex with her in exchange for Kayla's freedom. "Well, you know what, you seemed pretty virile for a man who [claims he hated] every minute of it," Ava countered. Steve insisted that he had done what had been necessary in order to save Kayla, but Ava guessed that Kayla might not see it that way, especially since Joey had walked in on them together.

Before Steve could respond, someone arrived with information about Ava's child. After Steve handed over a wad of cash, the man revealed that five babies had been bought during the timeframe that Steve was asking about -- but only two had been Caucasian, and they had both died of pneumonia within weeks of being purchased. The man produced photographs of the two deceased babies, and Ava was devastated when she recognized one of them as her own.

The man left after offering his condolences. "Could have been mine...but maybe not. [Either way], there's nothing tying us together now," Steve pointed out as Ava sobbed uncontrollably. Steve grabbed his stuff and exited the hotel room after adding that he never wanted to see Ava in Salem again. Ava sank to the floor in despair, clutching the photograph against her chest as she continued weeping.

At Club TBD, Lani ran into Abe and agreed to join him for coffee. Abe said he was sorry he hadn't been able to spend much time with Lani lately, and she assured him that it was fine because she had been pretty busy herself due to Hope's sudden departure from the police force. Abe wondered if things were going well at work. "Mostly, yeah," Lani replied, and when Abe prompted her to elaborate, she explained that everyone missed Hope -- and the Malcolm shooting had affected morale. "I mean, we all know it was self-defense, but...Rafe and Hope were a good team, and now he's..." Lani began to add before letting her voice trail off.

"Please don't take this the wrong way. I adore Rafe, and he's been a terrific mentor to me. But...he's been out a lot lately. And I know he's worried about Hope. I'm just afraid... I'm afraid he's in trouble," Lani hesitantly continued. Lani quickly backpedaled and admitted that she shouldn't have said anything, but after Abe assured her that anything she told him would remain between them, she explained that Rafe had seemed really preoccupied lately. Lani knew that Rafe had been given a second chance on the police force after covering up a crime, and she doubted that he would ever step out of line again.

"But Hope would, and that's what's got you worried," Abe guessed. Lani wondered if Abe suspected that Hope had done something that they weren't yet aware of. Unsure, Abe revealed that Hope was convinced that Stefano had caused Bo's death. Abe added that Stefano had recently left town without saying goodbye to Theo. "If there's one good thing I can say about the man, it's that he loves his grandson. This isn't like him," Abe mused. Abe concluded that, while Stefano's disappearance would be welcome news for practically everyone in Salem, he wouldn't be able to look the other way if he learned that either Hope or Rafe had caused it.

At the DiMera mansion, Rafe dismissed Andre's suspicions about Hope's involvement in Stefano's disappearance, insisting that Andre was just suffering from paranoid delusions and didn't have any real proof to back up his claims. "Don't I?" Andre replied, stroking his chin with his pinky finger to show off the Phoenix ring he was wearing. Rafe remained calm and warned Andre to stay away from Hope.

Andre mused that Rafe hadn't learned his lesson the last time he had covered up a crime to protect someone. "Are you so infatuated with Hope that you've lost any kind of remorse or duty to law?" Andre asked. Rafe scoffed at the idea of getting a lecture from Andre, of all people, about love, remorse, and the law. "Well, I was criminally insane. What's your excuse?" Andre countered.

Andre taunted Rafe, guessing that he hadn't gotten anything in exchange for the sacrifices he had made for Hope. "Has [she] hinted even a little bit of affection, or even a romp in her late husbands' bed -- husbands, plural?" Andre asked. Rafe lost his temper but quickly regained his composure, refusing to react to the remark in any way that would give Andre ammunition to use against him. "You just don't have the guts -- unlike Hope, [who] didn't even bat an eye when she took Bo's gun and placed it on my father's chest [then] shot him dead!" Andre spat. Rafe calmly said goodbye to Andre and showed himself out.

At Hope's house, Hope joined Ciara and Chase in the living room and suggested that they could heat up some popcorn and start a marathon of classic John Hughes films. Ciara suggested starting the marathon with The Breakfast Club. "It'd be like real life -- everyone stuck in a room against their own will," Ciara dryly reasoned. "With someone they can't stand," Chase added, but Ciara protested that he was putting words in her mouth.

Hope pointed out that Ciara and Chase had gotten to leave the house to see Theo earlier, and she wondered how that had gone. Chase explained that Theo hadn't been able to accept his apology. Chase admitted that he could understand why, since not even Ciara could forgive him. Ciara reminded Chase that she had tried to convince Theo to give him another chance. "Well, I don't need you to fight my battles!" Chase snapped. "I shouldn't have to fight your battles! Theo's not even answering my texts anymore, and you bolted when we were talking, which made you look even more like a jerk!" Ciara angrily countered.

Hope intervened and insisted that Ciara and Chase needed to find a way to work things out with each other. Hope went to take a phone call, leaving Ciara and Chase alone in the living room. Chase offered Ciara another apology, stressing that what he had done hadn't even really been about Theo in the first place. Chase explained that he had simply been angry, and Ciara conceded that he had a right to feel that way after everything that he had been through lately. Ciara added that she had done a lot of stupid things herself in the past. Ciara continued that she was just worried about Theo because he had been ignoring her text messages.

Ciara turned to leave, planning to look for Theo, but Hope returned and stopped her. Hope asked Chase to give her a minute alone with Ciara, and after he left, she advised Ciara that Theo probably just needed some time to himself. Ciara protested that she simply wanted to make sure that Theo was okay. "And I need to know that you're okay," Hope countered. Hope reminded Ciara that the DiMeras were dangerous, but Ciara maintained that she needed to find Theo right away because it was never a good sign when he suddenly went silent. Hope reluctantly agreed to let Ciara leave the house for one hour -- with a guard following her at all times.

After Ciara left, Hope went to retrieve Bo's gun from its lockbox -- and was shocked to discover that it wasn't there. Hope called Rafe over, and he told her about his earlier conversation with Andre. Hope started to panic when she realized that Andre really had found Stefano's body in the abandoned warehouse -- and had also stolen the murder weapon while she and Rafe had been with the kids at the Horton cabin.

As Hope and Rafe continued discussing the matter, Andre watched via a surveillance camera he had hidden in Hope's house. Andre was upset because the camera wasn't transmitting audio for some reason, but he noticed that Chase was on the staircase, listening to Hope and Rafe's conversation.

Theo finally answered one of Ciara's text messages and agreed to meet her in the town square. Ciara assured Theo that Chase's actions had stemmed from a place of anger and hadn't really had anything to do with Theo at all. Theo agreed but guessed that Chase's actions had actually been the result of his feelings for Ciara. Theo predicted that things weren't going to get better between him and Chase anytime soon, since Chase still liked Ciara. "And so do I," Theo admitted, although he was quick to stress that he knew that Ciara didn't feel the same way about him. Theo assured Ciara that they would always be friends.

After catching Ciara with Theo, Chase went to a secluded section of the town square to be alone. "Well, hello, son. Hmm. You look like you could use a friend," Andre observed as he approached Chase.

. . .

On the next Days of our Lives...

• Doug and Julie celebrate Valentine's Day together.
• Some of Salem's residents experience revealing dreams about their respective romantic situations.