Monday, April 21, 2014
by Mike

At the DiMera mansion, Sami received a phone call while she was in the middle of opening the envelope that had been slipped under the front door. As Sami started talking to the caller, E.J. realized that it was a business call. E.J. offered to take the call because he could tell that there was some sort of problem, but Sami assured him that she could handle the matter herself.

Sami passed the envelope to E.J. as she continued to talk to the caller. E.J. reached into the envelope and partially removed the incriminating photograph from it, but he kept his eyes locked on Sami while doing so because hearing her issue stern warnings to the caller was distracting and impressing him. When Sami ended the call, E.J. placed the envelope facedown on a nearby surface and proudly kissed her.

Sami pulled away from E.J. and headed into the living room, but he stopped her and kissed her again as he started to unbutton her shirt. Sami pulled away from E.J. again and regretfully informed him that she needed to respond to a few work-related emails right away because Marlena would be visiting the mansion later that day to help her pick out a wedding dress. After assuring E.J. that, later, they would pick up where they had left off, Sami went to the study, leaving him alone in the living room.

Remembering the envelope, E.J. returned to the foyer, where he finally viewed the envelope's contents. Stunned, E.J. tucked the photograph back in the envelope, went into the living room, and closed all of the doors leading into the room before pulling the photograph back out of the envelope. After staring at the photograph for a moment, E.J. tossed it on the surface of the piano, next to some other items, and paced around the piano as he tried to process the turn of events. Shaking, E.J. returned to the image and tried to pick it up, but he only managed to scatter it and the other items -- wedding invitations -- on the floor instead.

E.J. scrambled to collect the items, and as he held a stack of wedding invitations in one hand and the photograph in the other, he thought about a recent moment when Sami had declared, after they had finished making love, that she trusted him completely. "Oh, my God. What the hell is that?" Sami asked, surprising E.J. with her sudden return. Sami snatched the picture out of E.J.'s hand so that she could take a closer look at it, and she wondered if it was someone's sick idea of a joke. E.J. played along with Sami's assumption as she mused that someone -- Stefano, perhaps -- had done a surprisingly good job of making the image look convincing.

E.J. took the photograph from Sami as he stated that, while he found it hard to imagine that Stefano would pull such a stunt himself, the DiMeras had enemies who were certainly capable of doing so. As E.J. and Sami stared at the picture together, she compared E.J.'s real hand to the one that was on Abigail's waist in the image. Sami once again yanked the photograph out of E.J.'s hand for a closer look, growing increasingly concerned that it was too convincing to be fake. E.J. tried to stop Sami, but she warned him to stay where he was. "Abigail...and you?" Sami asked, and E.J. quietly confirmed her suspicion.

E.J. quickly added that what had happened with Abigail had meant nothing at all, calling it an idiotic mistake. Sami continued to stare at the photograph as she tearfully wondered when it had been taken. E.J. replied that the image depicted something that had happened months earlier. Sami started to hyperventilate as she tried to think of the next question to ask, and E.J. reminded her to breathe normally as he started to approach her. Sami backed away from E.J. and once again ordered him to stay where he was, so he complied with her request.

As Sami continued to stare at the photograph, E.J. stammered out assurances that what had happened with Abigail was over and that it had just been a meaningless physical thing. Sami interrupted and started to ask when the thing between E.J. and Abigail had happened, but she quickly remembered that she had already asked that question, so she started to take herself through the rest of the standard questions, beginning with "where" -- a question that she answered herself when she recognized that E.J. and Abigail were at the Horton cabin. Sami wondered if E.J. had been with Abigail anywhere else, such as the DiMera mansion.

E.J. insisted that he would never do that, and he begged Sami to let him explain everything, but she interrupted as she continued to remind herself of the questions that still needed to be asked. Skipping past "who," "what," and "how" -- questions that had obvious answers -- Sami finally landed on "why?" E.J. contemplated the question for a moment before deciding that there was no good answer for it.

Sami tearfully asked if E.J. had -- or still -- loved Abigail. "No! No, I love you -- you know that. From the first moment that I saw you until I draw my last breath, it will be you and only you," E.J. assured Sami, but she quietly objected to his use of the word "only" as she turned her attention back to the photograph she was still holding. Sami matter-of-factly observed that Abigail was very pretty.

Sami remained silent as she continued to stare at the photograph, tears rolling down her cheeks. E.J. decided to fill the silence with an answer to Sami's earlier question, recounting the events that had led up to his encounter with Abigail at the Horton cabin. E.J. concluded that he had simply been protecting Sami, prompting her to start slapping him repeatedly. Sami continued to hit E.J. as she shouted at him, refusing to believe his excuse, but he stopped her and insisted that he was telling the truth.

E.J. informed Sami that the incident at the Horton cabin had occurred right after she had gone on a business trip to Chicago -- an act that had left him fearing that she had been about to cancel their engagement. "Well, you sure showed me, didn't you?!" Sami snapped at E.J., who maintained that he had been a wreck at that particular time because he had assumed that he had been minutes away from losing her forever. Sami picked up the photograph, which she had dropped earlier, as she summarized that E.J. had decided to seek comfort from their kids' pretty, young babysitter, who was barely out of college and just happened to be his little brother's ex-girlfriend. Sami demanded to know what E.J. had been thinking, and he replied that he hadn't been thinking at all.

E.J. referred to what he had done as one huge, stupid mistake, prompting Sami to wonder if it had really only happened once. E.J. admitted that it had actually happened twice, while he and Sami had been estranged. Sami once again asked if E.J. had been with Abigail at the DiMera mansion, and he reiterated that he would never do that. Sami demanded to know where the second incident had occurred so that she wouldn't get blindsided with the information at some point in the future. When E.J. reluctantly revealed that it had happened in the men's locker room at DiMera Enterprises, Sami quickly realized that he was talking about the day that he had taken a long time to get out of the shower when she had surprised him there with a visit after returning from her business trip.

Sami sadly recalled that she had wanted E.J. very badly that day and that he had rushed her out of the room. Sami guessed that Abigail had been in the shower the whole time and that E.J. had turned Sami away so that he could be with Abigail instead. E.J. reached out to Sami, who backed away and warned him not to touch her. Sami sobbed as she mused that E.J. and Abigail had probably shared some laughs at her expense after she had left the locker room, but he assured her that he had sent Abigail away immediately after Sami had left. E.J. added that he hadn't gone looking for Abigail in the first place -- she had just shown up while he had been using the locker room that day. "Poor you," Sami quietly replied.

Sami recalled that she had asked E.J. to "handle" Abigail on the day of Arianna's christening, and she bitterly wondered if he'd had a quickie with Abigail in Father Matt's office to "protect" Sami. E.J. acknowledged that he deserved everything that Sami was dishing out at him, and he promised to take it all without blinking, but he refused to let her go. Ignoring the statement, Sami started to complain about the fact that she had helped Abigail through a pregnancy scare without ever realizing that Abigail had slept with E.J., but she stopped herself when she realized the true implications of what she was saying. "It would have been yours. Of course, it would have been yours, and she let me hold her hand. That little bitch -- she sat there and let me comfort her the whole time, knowing that it was --" Sami started to say, but E.J. interrupted to remind her that Abigail wasn't pregnant.

Sami guessed that E.J. hadn't been able to stop himself from "jumping all over" Abigail for long enough to locate and use a condom, but he protested that it hadn't been like that at all. Sami demanded to know what it had been like, tearfully wondering what had made Abigail irresistible. Sami stared at the photograph as she conceded that Abigail was pretty and young and educated and skinny, but E.J. insisted that Sami was the only woman he had ever wanted. "Samantha, for how many years have I waited for you? Have I loved you [and] lusted after you? I jumped through every hoop you ever held up. I gave away everything that I have in this world...for you. How could you ever think that I would ever want to be with anybody but you?" E.J. asked as he knelt beside Sami, who was sitting in a chair.

Sami pointed out that E.J. had been with someone other than her, but he clarified that he had wanted her but she hadn't been around at that particular time. Sami started to remind E.J. that she had simply gone on an overnight business trip to Chicago, but he stopped her and told her not to make the matter that small. E.J. reasoned that the matter had actually been about the fact that, after everything that he and Sami had been through together, she had still not been ready to commit to a life with him at that particular time. "You are gonna stand there and defend what you did to me?!" Sami snapped as she rose from her chair, causing E.J. to back away from her. E.J. clarified that he wasn't trying to defend or justify his actions -- he was simply telling Sami what his mindset had been at the time in question.

E.J. said that he didn't blame Sami for hating his guts and that he was sorry "to the marrow of his bones," but he added that he wasn't going to lie down and surrender because he was fighting for his life -- their life -- and he wasn't going to let one stupid mistake destroy everything that they had been through together. "Oh, don't. Don't you use that word. This isn't a mistake, E.J.! You forget the dry cleaning, and that is a mistake! This is -- betrayal," Sami sadly concluded after angrily slamming the photograph against the surface of the nearby desk multiple times.

E.J. cautiously approached Sami while she was catching her breath, and he reasoned that it couldn't possibly be true that he had betrayed her, since his heart had never left her -- not even for a single second. E.J. placed a hand on Sami's shoulder as he reminded her that she fell asleep each night to the sound of his heart. Sami stared at E.J.'s hand for a moment before grabbing a nearby letter opener. "You touch me again...and I will drive this through that lying heart," Sami warned as she pointed the makeshift weapon at E.J., who carefully wrapped his hands around her hand and helped her guide the letter opener to the appropriate spot. Sami applied a slight bit of pressure to E.J.'s chest with the makeshift weapon but ultimately decided not to plunge it into E.J.'s heart, choosing instead to stab a legal pad that was laying on the desk.

After dropping the letter opener on the desk, Sami turned to face E.J. again, but something else caught her eye in the process -- a stack of wedding invitations that had been knocked off of the desk when she had assaulted it with the photograph earlier. Sami sobbed as she knelt to pick up the wedding invitations, which had been kept separate from the ones that E.J. had accidentally scattered near the piano earlier.

"These are my -- my 'by hand' box. These are the invitations I had to deliver personally...along with a plea. 'It's different this time, Daddy, Aunt Hope, Eric...' -- fill in the blank -- '...E.J. makes me so happy. The kids are so happy. Once we admitted that we loved each other and accepted each other -- it's better than I ever thought my life could be. I trust him this time. Daddy, I can trust him. You'll see. This is gonna be my perfect, happy wedding -- my perfect, happy beginning,'" Sami sadly stated before calmly tearing up one of the invitations as E.J. watched helplessly.

"Well, at least it didn't happen at the altar -- thank you for that. And I guess I'm lucky that you wanted a souvenir, 'cause now I have one," Sami said as she smoothed out the creases she had given the photograph when she had used it to attack the desk earlier. Sami picked up the photograph and started to walk away, but E.J. stopped her and stammered out an objection that what had happened with Abigail was insignificant, not just when compared to his love for Sami but also when compared to all of the truly monstrous things they had done to each other in the past. E.J. assured Sami that Abigail meant nothing to him.

"That's what makes it so horrible. You crossed a line I never even imagined you could cross. You crossed a line I can never forgive...for something that you say meant nothing to you," Sami sadly replied. Sami started to walk away, but E.J. grabbed her hand and fell to his knees as he started to beg her to give him a second chance. Sami summarized that E.J. had thrown her away and that their relationship had ended the second his lips had touched Abigail's, but he protested that Sami wasn't being rational. E.J. quickly tried to take back what he had just said, but it was too late. Sami freed herself from E.J.'s grasp and circled the living room, shattering everything that was within reach, as he tried to assure her that he hadn't meant what he had just said.

"Rational?! I'm not being rational?! I'm not being rational?! What about Sami and E.J., huh? Cut to ribbons! That's not rational?! You didn't mean it?! You meant it all, E.J.! You meant everything! You meant every word! You meant every touch! Every lie! You meant it! You did exactly what you wanted to do, you bastard, and you -- you broke us! You broke us! You broke me! You broke me! You did it -- you broke me, E.J.! You -- you -- you broke --" Sami angrily shouted, stopping only when she started to hyperventilate again.

E.J. -- who had caught Sami and wrapped his arms around her in the middle of her tirade, pulling her to the floor with him -- held her as she sobbed and struggled to catch her breath. Sami tearfully admitted that she loved E.J., and he kissed her forehead as she rested her head against his chest and continued to cry.

Marlena entered the living room, surveyed the scene, and demanded to know what E.J. had done to her daughter. As Sami crawled away from E.J., he angrily ordered Marlena to leave, explaining that Marlena was interfering in a private matter. Sami reasoned that Marlena was going to learn the truth eventually, but E.J. protested that no one else ever had to know what had happened. Ignoring E.J.'s objections, Sami showed Marlena the photograph. Sami announced that she was leaving, and she asked Marlena to pack some things for the kids and meet her somewhere later. E.J. continued to protest, but Sami insisted that she was going to get her children and take them away from him and his "little whore," and she shoved him to the ground as she stormed past him and exited the mansion.

E.J. started to go after Sami, but Marlena stopped him and told him to stay away from Sami. "My daughter loved you completely. You could have done anything, and she would have stood by you, but not this. There's no way back from betrayal with Sami -- she is gone, and you are done. And we can all live without the stench from this house," Marlena said before heading upstairs to pack the kids' things. E.J. fumbled around the living room, looking for his keys, and rushed out of the mansion after locating them.

E.J. went to the Horton house to warn Abigail about what had happened, but when she opened the front door and found him standing outside, she dismissively informed him that she was headed somewhere. Abigail tried to exit the house, but E.J. grabbed her arm and pushed her back inside, causing her to drop her purse in the process. Abigail knelt to collect the scattered contents of her purse as E.J. started to tell her what had happened earlier, but he stopped himself when he spotted an unexpected item on the floor -- a positive home pregnancy test. Confused, E.J. started to point out that Dr. Garcia had previously confirmed that Abigail wasn't pregnant, but Abigail interrupted him.

"Dr. Garcia? Really, E.J.? Your father's personal doctor? Looks like Stefano wanted you to get married without any inconvenient loose ends. But yes, I am pregnant, and I'm on my way now to go see a real doctor to get some real prenatal care so that I can take care of my child," Abigail explained before trying to leave the house again.

E.J. stopped Abigail and insisted that she wasn't going anywhere until they figured out where Sami was. E.J. guessed that Sami had gone to look for Abigail at the hospital. Abigail assured E.J. that she would track Sami down and talk to her about what had happened, but he advised against that because Sami was furious and would likely snap Abigail like a twig if the women saw each other.

Abigail protested that she wasn't a delicate little flower, but E.J. countered that she was pregnant. "Isn't that special?" Sami mused as she entered the living room. E.J. held Sami back as she said that it was a bummer that Abigail was pregnant, adding that it was too bad that Abigail had been unable to spare the time to find a condom before "jumping" Sami's fiancé. Abigail insisted that she had never intended to sleep with E.J. "You didn't? Was it an accident? Did you trip and fall onto E.J.'s --" Sami started to counter as she tried to break free from E.J.'s grip. Sami bitterly observed that Abigail and E.J. seemed to have a lot in common, since they were both using the same argument to excuse their behavior.

"Wasn't it enough for you to almost destroy my sister's marriage to Austin? You couldn't stop until you did destroy a family? Well, congratulations, cookie -- mission accomplished!" Sami snapped at Abigail. E.J. tried to get Sami to leave with him, but she pulled away from him and said that she wasn't even willing to take two steps with him. Sami turned her attention back to Abigail and added that, while the mere sight of "the babysitter" made Sami want to puke, they needed to go over the house rules together.

Abigail tried to say something, but Sami interrupted and ordered Abigail and E.J. to shut up and listen to her. Sami said that whatever E.J. and Abigail wanted to do to or with each other from that point forward was their business, and as she continued with a warning about what would happen if either of them ever tried to get near her or her children again, Jennifer entered the living room and interrupted, demanding to know what was going on.

Sami laughed bitterly and encouraged Abigail to answer the question, but Abigail just clutched her stomach and muttered that she was going to be sick. "Aren't we all? Jennifer, I am sorry to be the one to tell you that your skank of a daughter had sex with my fiancé. And good news -- you're gonna be a grandmother," Sami revealed. Shocked, Jennifer turned to Abigail for confirmation, but instead, E.J. muttered to Jennifer that he was fully responsible for what had happened with Abigail. Jennifer demanded to know what E.J. had done to convince Abigail to sleep with him.

Meanwhile, Abigail reiterated that she was going to be sick, and she rushed out of the living room, but Sami chased after her, catching her midway up the staircase in the foyer. E.J. and Jennifer joined Sami and Abigail on the staircase and tried to break up the fight, but Sami pushed them away as she continued to struggle with Abigail, who ended up toppling over the banister and falling to the floor below. Abigail grabbed her stomach as Jennifer and E.J. rushed to her side, and Sami looked on in horror.

E.J. snapped out of his nightmarish fantasy just as Sami returned to the living room of the DiMera mansion and asked if he had seen the picture. E.J. quickly hid the incriminating photograph behind some wedding invitations as he turned to face Sami, who was holding a picture that Johnny had drawn of their family. Sami laughed as she tried to figure out why Johnny had given everyone a mustache, and she was somewhat surprised when E.J. suddenly interrupted to give her a hug. Sami wondered if everything was all right, and E.J. held her tightly as he quietly replied that everything was perfect.

As Sami pulled away from E.J., she spotted the envelope on the surface of the piano and started to wonder what had it had contained, but at that same time, the doorbell rang, announcing what Sami guessed was Marlena's arrival. E.J. quickly replied that the envelope had simply contained a bill from the gardener, and Sami went to answer the door. As soon as Sami left the room, E.J. tucked the incriminating photograph back in the envelope and locked it in one of the desk drawers. E.J. discreetly placed the key in his pants pocket as Sami returned to the living room with Marlena.

Sami informed E.J. that she and Marlena were planning to go to the pub to get something to eat after they finished looking at wedding dresses upstairs. Sami invited E.J. to join her and Marlena, and Marlena didn't object to the invitation, but he declined the offer, explaining that he had some work to take care of and that it sounded like Sami and Marlena could use a girls' night out, anyway. Sami said farewell to E.J. and led Marlena upstairs to show her the three wedding dresses Sami had found.

As soon as the coast was clear, E.J. closed the living room doors, retrieved the envelope from the desk drawer, and turned to face Stefano's portrait. "You miserable bastard. You want a war with me, old man? You will have one. What's this -- your idea of a wedding present? Do you want to threaten the only reason that I have to live, let alone stay in this house and be civil to you?! Do you want to threaten my life? My happiness? My children's happiness? My grandchildren's happiness? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no -- of course you don't. Oh, no, you might be the only other person in this town who's happy for this marriage, who's happy that we're together. You didn't do this. Someone else knows," E.J. concluded.

Meanwhile, Marlena and Sami returned to the foyer, where they agreed that they needed a harsh, objective critic because they both liked each of the dresses and couldn't decide which one to choose. Sami and Marlena simultaneously determined that Caroline was the perfect person to consult on the matter, so they decided to go to the pub right away and ask for Caroline's advice. Because the door to the living room was closed, Sami decided to just send E.J. an email to let him know that she and Marlena were leaving. Marlena smiled as she watched Sami, and she observed that Sami looked happy and centered.

"Miracle, right? It fits -- we fit -- so now it feels like everything...just fits. I finally have the life that I always wanted, Mom. I'm whole, and -- and -- and we're whole. And it's all because of E.J.," Sami tearfully confirmed before she and Marlena exited the mansion. Back in the living room, E.J. stared at a framed photograph of him and Sami and vowed that he wouldn't lose her or the life that they had built together.

E.J. arranged to meet with Abigail in the park, but when she arrived, he quickly realized that she was annoyed and hadn't expected to hear from him that night. Abigail wondered why she would have expected E.J. to contact her that night, and before he could respond, she added that it was a bad idea for them to meet each other in public. Abigail reminded E.J. that they were lucky that they had gotten out of their fling without any consequences.

E.J. claimed that he had simply wanted to check on Abigail because she didn't have anyone else to talk to about what had happened between them. Abigail said that was a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing that no one would ever know about what she and E.J. had done, since she would "die" if the truth were ever revealed because no one would ever look at her the same way again if that happened. E.J. nodded and summarized that he and Abigail would simply have to make sure that their secret remained a secret.

Abigail guessed that, with E.J. and Sami's wedding a few short weeks away, he had started to worry that Abigail might have told someone about their fling. E.J. admitted that he would probably always be worried about that possibility. "Abigail, I'm sure that if somebody were to find out, the consequences for you would be terrible...but my life would be over. Samantha would be destroyed," E.J. elaborated. Abigail found that hard to believe, since Sami would never let anyone destroy her, and E.J. agreed that Abigail was right about that.

Abigail sighed and wondered how her and E.J.'s fling had ever happened in the first place, considering how fiercely he loved Sami. E.J. replied that nothing had ever really happened between him and Abigail because he loved Sami fiercely, although he was quick to add that Abigail was still an incredibly beautiful and special young lady in her own right. Abigail told E.J. that she didn't need a pep talk from him. E.J. nodded and stressed that if Abigail ever needed to talk to anyone about what had happened between them, he was the only person she could consider turning to. Abigail assured E.J. that he was off the hook and could relax, since she would never need him for anything ever again. Abigail walked away after adding that she never wanted to receive another call from E.J.

Abigail returned to the Horton house and picked up a framed photograph of her, J.J., and Jennifer. Abigail muttered that Jennifer wouldn't have to worry, since E.J. was out of Abigail's life for good.

Caroline wasn't at the Brady Pub because it was her regular poker night, which surprised Sami and Marlena because they hadn't even realized that Caroline played poker. With their original plan thwarted, Marlena offered to "man up" and help Sami choose a dress herself, but Sami clarified that she would prefer for Marlena to "girl up" instead, since Sami wanted to look pretty at the wedding. Marlena stressed that Sami always looked pretty, but Sami wasn't convinced, even though E.J. always told her the same thing. Sami explained that she simply wanted to be the perfect picture of a bride that E.J. had in his head, since she wanted their wedding to be perfect.

Meanwhile, Jennifer entered the pub and interrupted to greet Sami and Marlena, who invited her to join them to be the tiebreaker opinion in their quest to decide on a wedding dress. Sami added that Abigail was also welcome to take part in the process, but Jennifer clarified that Abigail was actually helping a friend with something at that time. Unsurprised, Sami raved that Abigail was "such a good person." A short time later, while the group was huddled around Sami's tablet computer, the image on the screen suddenly changed from one of a wedding dress to one of Renaissance art. Marlena and Jennifer were puzzled, so Sami revealed that Abigail had been helping her learn more about art so that Sami could impress E.J. on their honeymoon.

After the group decided on a wedding dress, Sami received a business call and apologetically excused herself. Marlena decided to stay at the pub for a while longer, so Sami thanked Marlena and Jennifer for their help and said farewell to them. As Sami exited the pub, Jennifer observed that, while Sami had looked radiant, Marlena just looked terrified. Marlena agreed that Sami had never been happier, but she added that, while she was trying not to be terrified about Sami and E.J.'s impending wedding, the fact of the matter was that Sami was about to marry a DiMera. Marlena wondered how Jennifer would feel if Abigail were still involved with a DiMera.

Jennifer admitted that she was glad that Abigail's relationship with Chad hadn't worked out. Marlena believed that Jennifer was wise to feel that way, but Jennifer suggested that their concerns might be unfounded, since Sami looked amazing and happy. Jennifer mused that E.J. might have actually changed his old ways for good, and Marlena uncertainly conceded that there was at least a remote possibility that Jennifer was right.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. was in the living room, talking to Stefano on the phone. "Well, of course, that's the first place I bloody went! It's not Abigail, all right, Father? This has to be somebody who's connected to us, okay? Somebody who has an axe to grind against us," E.J. impatiently stated as the front door of the mansion slammed shut. E.J. abruptly ended the call after promising to contact Stefano again later. Meanwhile, Sami entered the living room and proudly announced that she had picked out a wedding dress.

Sami added that she wanted to elope. E.J. jokingly replied that he would get the car ready, but he quickly realized that she was being serious. "Yes! I mean, I picked a dress, and usually, things go downhill from here. You know my wedding statistics," Sami reminded E.J., who dryly assured her that six was his lucky number. E.J. pointed out that Sami had previously wanted to get married in front of her friends and family members in the DiMera garden. Sami confirmed that she still really wanted to do that, but she added that she didn't want to tempt fate.

E.J. argued that he and Sami weren't the type of people who ran from things. E.J. promised Sami that he was going to give her the wedding she wanted and deserved, and he assured her that they were going to have the life that they had always dreamed of having.

. . .

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