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Monday, July 18, 2016
by Mike

After work, Blanca went to Club TBD for a drink. Assuming that Blanca was really just hoping to run into Rafe, Dario informed her that he hadn't seen his brother recently. Blanca insisted that although she was attracted to Rafe, she didn't expect anything to ever happen with him because he was obviously only interested in Hope. "So, what, you just give up? Where's your fighting spirit?" Dario wondered.

Blanca laughed off the idea, stressing, "I don't fight for a man. That's not who I am." Dario assumed that with the possibility of finding love in Salem off the table, Blanca would soon return to Mexico, but she informed him that she planned to stick around because she liked her job at the hospital and already felt at home in Salem. Dario warned that life in a small town would eventually get boring.

Changing the subject, Blanca wondered why Dario still hated Eduardo, whom everyone else in the Hernandez family had decided to give a second chance. "It's very simple: my father betrayed my family [and] broke my mother's heart, and that, to me, is unforgivable," Dario explained as Adriana entered the club, looking for Rafe. Adriana wanted to know what Dario was talking about, so he claimed that he had been complaining about people who committed the unforgivable offense of failing to tip their bartenders.

Dario seated Adriana and Blanca at a table then went to prepare drinks for them. Meanwhile, Adriana revealed that Blanca's sister had been trying to reach Blanca. Stammering, Blanca claimed that she had missed her sister's calls because she'd had her cell phone turned off while at work earlier. "She told me that, um, there is a man back home in Mexico that has been asking about you -- someone called Guillermo," Adriana continued.

Adriana guessed, based on Blanca's reaction to the name, that she was afraid of the man, but Blanca dismissively clarified that she had simply been taken aback because she hadn't heard Guillermo's name since she had broken up with him "a while ago." Meanwhile, Dario returned with drinks. Adriana excused herself and headed outside with her drink so she could call Rafe. After complaining that Adriana worried about her children too much, Dario went to take care of some new customers. Blanca seized the opportunity to contact someone named Natalia and ensure that the woman knew to feign ignorance if Guillermo asked her for Blanca's whereabouts.

As Blanca ended the call, Dario returned and wondered if everything was okay. Blanca explained that she had simply been enlisting an old friend's help to ensure that an ex-boyfriend wouldn't be able to track her down. Dario thought it sounded like Blanca's ex could be trouble, so he offered to help her, but she assured him that the situation wasn't a big deal.

Adriana soon returned and fretted that Rafe still wasn't answering his cell phone. Dario teasingly guessed that Rafe would be quite pleased when he discovered that Adriana had flooded his voicemail with complaints about being ignored. Adriana protested that she had played things "very cool" in each message she had left for Rafe, but Dario found that hard to believe. Adriana warned Dario to never turn off his cell phone, insisting that having one son who didn't answer her calls was bad enough.

Later, as she was passing through the town square with Blanca, Adriana probed for more information about Guillermo. Blanca said Guillermo was a loser she never should have gotten involved with, and she stressed that he could never know that she was living in Salem. Adriana wanted even more details, but Blanca snapped, "It's none of your business! You're not my mother, so stop acting like you are!"

Adriana and Blanca soon apologized to each other. Adriana explained that she was simply trying to look out for Blanca because she was the one who had summoned Blanca to Salem in the first place. Blanca stressed that she loved Salem and was happy to be there. Pleased to hear that, Adriana hoped that Blanca hadn't given up on catching Rafe's interest yet. "I can tell that you like him. And he could fall hard for you, too, if that woman, Hope, were not in the picture," Adriana grumbled. Adriana confidently assured Blanca that Rafe's infatuation with Hope wouldn't last, adding, "I see no future for Hope and Rafe."

Later, Blanca returned to Club TBD for another drink. As she was chatting with Dario, she wondered if there was a woman in his life. "There's a woman that I wish was in my life, but, uh, like you and Rafe, I'm not sure if that's ever gonna be a possibility," Dario replied. "Well, we are a hell of a pair, aren't we?" Blanca mused, eyeing Dario as she sipped her drink. Meanwhile, in the town square, Adriana left another voicemail message for Rafe.

At the Salem Inn, Andre pounded insistently on the door to Aiden's room, ignoring Aiden's requests to be left alone. When Aiden finally opened the door, Andre stepped into the trashed room and explained, as he looked around, that he had heard Aiden's "disagreement with the room décor" from his own room down the hall. "Time to cheer up, Aiden. I have some good news about our friend, Rafe Hernandez," Andre added.

Aiden dismissively revealed that he no longer cared about getting his competition out of the way because Hope had caught him in a lie and had washed her hands of him. "Oh, that's a pity," Andre said with a sigh before forging ahead, reporting that Rafe had died earlier. Stunned, Aiden protested that he had never asked Andre to kill Rafe. "Well, what did you want me to do? Did you want me to take him to lunch?" Andre wondered.

Aiden hoped that Andre had covered his tracks so Rafe's death would never be traced back to either of them. "Of course I did. I covered and buried [them]. I'm a DiMera, you know," Andre assured Aiden. Aiden fretted that he was in no shape to deal with the Salem Police Department again, especially after having just lost the love of his life. "Oh, yes, in more ways than one," Andre casually mused.

Aiden nervously wondered what that was supposed to mean. "I'm so sorry for your loss," Andre coolly stressed, explaining that Hope had died trying to save Rafe. Aiden refused to believe that, assuming that Andre was just playing a DiMera mind game with him. Andre didn't particularly care whether Aiden believed him or not, but he promised that his story about Rafe and Hope's deaths -- which he delighted in sharing in great detail -- was true.

Andre optimistically reasoned that Hope's death would make it easier for Aiden to move on with his life, encouragingly adding, "The world is your oyster." Aiden protested that he had never intended for things to end the way they had. Andre conceded that Hope had been collateral damage, but he admitted that he wasn't particularly upset that she had died alongside Rafe. "My father's murder has been avenged," Andre concluded with a sigh of satisfaction.

Furious, Aiden blamed Andre for taking Hope away from him again, but Andre pointed out that if Aiden had stuck to the arrangement he had originally committed to, he would have killed Hope himself months earlier. After again encouraging Aiden to seize the opportunity to move on with his life, Andre started to leave, but Aiden grabbed him, slammed him against a wall, and began punching him. Andre took a couple blows to his face then struck back, seemingly unfazed, and neutralized Aiden with one quick jab to the throat.

As Aiden writhed on the floor, gasping for breath, Andre calmly approached him and pressed a foot against his throat. "I let you have your fun; now it's my turn. Don't you ever forget who you're dealing with!" Andre warned Aiden, who struggled to choke out a threat of death to Andre. "You're most welcome to try," Andre dismissively replied. As he released the pressure on Aiden's throat, Andre added that he had taken measures to ensure that Rafe and Hope's deaths could easily be pinned on Aiden, and he would make that happen if Aiden didn't fall back in line and start showing him the respect he deserved.

After the explosion, Shawn searched frantically for Hope and Rafe but was unable to find them. A member of the bomb squad did manage to uncover the charred remains of Hope's cell phone, though, leading Shawn to assume the worst. When Shawn contacted Roman to provide an update, Roman pointed out that no bodies had been found yet, meaning that there was still a chance that Rafe and Hope had made it out of the house in time.

Later, Roman arrived to help with the search. Shawn feared that even if Hope and Rafe had managed to survive the explosion, they might have sustained serious injuries in the process. While searching the basement, Shawn discovered a chain that had a broken link on one end. Shawn pointed out that the fire couldn't have caused the break, and Roman agreed. "Hope must have freed [Rafe] somehow," Roman guessed. Relieved to have confirmation that Hope and Rafe were likely still alive, Shawn and Roman decided to trust the search-and-rescue team to find them, choosing to instead focus their own efforts on figuring out who had caused the explosion.

Rafe navigated the DiMera tunnels while carrying an unconscious Hope in his arms, eventually finding a cot to place her on. Disturbed to discover that Hope was bleeding from her abdomen, Rafe dampened a cloth with water from a nearby pipe then applied pressure to her wound with another cloth while wetting her forehead. When she regained consciousness, he went to fill a cup with some water, and she noticed that he was limping. Rafe dismissed Hope's concerns about his injury, insisting that he would be fine.

Hope slowly started to recall how she had freed Rafe just before the explosion and had then fled the basement with him via a trapdoor they'd found in the floor. "What would a DiMera property be without a secret underground escape route, right?" Rafe reasoned with a chuckle. Rafe explained that the bomb had gone off as he and Hope had been descending a ladder to the tunnels. Too weak to move, Hope urged Rafe to go get help, and he reluctantly complied. However, he soon returned and reported that the only two exits were blocked -- one with a locked door and the other with debris from the explosion.

Hope soon lost consciousness again, and Rafe was unable to revive her.

. . .

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On the next Days of our Lives...

• Aiden sets a new plan in motion.
• Ciara tells Hope about a recent encounter with Chase.
• Adriana tries to convince Rafe to stay away from Hope.
• Eduardo receives an alarming message.
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