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Monday, May 23, 2016
by Mike

Belle continued kissing Shawn after they entered her parents' townhouse, but he quickly stopped things from progressing further. Feeling embarrassed, Belle joked that in addition to being a bad mother, a bad daughter, and a bad wife, she was also apparently a bad seductress.

Unamused, Shawn started to head to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee for Belle, but she stopped him and stressed that she wasn't oblivious to the fact that their relationship had started going downhill after she had cheated on him. Belle tearfully added that she would feel guilty about that mistake for the rest of her life because it hadn't just hurt Shawn; it had hurt her and Claire, as well.

"And I've just hit a new low: getting drunk and making out with my one-time husband. And it would be funny if it wasn't so cliché, and it would be sad if -- no, it's just sad. It's just really, really sad...kissing someone who doesn't want anything to do with you," Belle continued between sobs. Insisting that wasn't true, Shawn apologetically acknowledged that he was partially responsible for Belle's low self-esteem, since he had been too hard on her at times. Shawn added that Belle was the mother of his child, and that was a gift he would always be grateful to her for giving him -- and a bond that would keep them connected for the rest of their lives.

Belle appreciated Shawn's kind words but maintained that she had been messing up Claire's life lately, despite warnings from him -- and even Philip -- about the dangers of spoiling her and setting unrealistic expectations for her. Shawn stressed that he was just as responsible for Claire's mistakes as Belle was, but Belle insisted that wasn't true. "But it needs to be. I can't do this all by myself; I need to do this with you," Belle added before kissing Shawn again. Belle assured Shawn that she was no longer drunk, and she begged him not to leave, promising that she knew exactly what she was doing and would have no regrets about it the following morning.

At the Horton Town Square, Rafe walked away after witnessing Hope and Aiden's kiss, missing his chance to see Hope put a stop to it. Aiden wondered if Hope was in love with Rafe, arguing that he deserved to know at least that much. Hope insisted that she didn't owe Aiden anything, but she admitted that she was indeed involved with Rafe. Guessing that the relationship was serious, Aiden sighed as he mused that he was in familiar territory, once again fighting another man for Hope's heart. "I was a fool to think that we could just pick up where we left off, [and that] I could win you back," Aiden sadly acknowledged.

Aiden started to walk away after apologizing for the mistakes he had made, but Hope stopped him and confirmed that she was indeed falling in love with Rafe, adding that things would never be the same between her and Aiden again. Nodding, Aiden mused that losing Hope to another man could be fate's way of telling him he needed to instead focus his full attention on clearing Chase's name. "Clear him? Have you forgotten who you're talking to? Your son is a rapist; that's never gonna change, no matter where you put your focus," Hope spat.

Aiden apologetically acknowledged that he probably sounded insensitive. "But if the situation were reversed --" Aiden started to argue. "But it's not reversed! Your son raped my daughter. He belongs in jail. Please...I'm begging you, okay? For Ciara's sake, don't do anything to change that," Hope tearfully requested. Aiden protested that Hope couldn't seriously expect him to just abandon his son, but she insisted that Chase was already right where he belonged.

Hope continued that Ciara had already been through enough and needed to feel safe. Aiden assured Hope that he still cared about Ciara, just as he always had. "Then you stay the hell away from her. That's not a request; that's an order," Hope warned. Admitting that he was running out of ways to apologize for everything that had happened, Aiden wished Hope a happy life with Rafe and promised to back off. "Good. Then we understand each other," Hope tersely replied before walking away.

Roman found Rafe at Edge of the Square, drowning his sorrows. Roman started to advise against doing that, but Rafe interrupted and promised that he was almost done. After knocking back another drink, Rafe began complaining about Aiden's return, but he soon segued into a preemptive rant about rules against fraternization, guessing that Roman wouldn't be happy to learn that he had feelings for Hope. Clarifying that he didn't have any objections, Roman urged Rafe to sober up and fight for Hope instead of continuing to drink shots and feel sorry for himself.

Later, Rafe went to Hope's house and pounded on the front door until she opened it. "I'm not losing you," Rafe insisted. "Who said you were?" Hope wondered. Ignoring Hope's response, Rafe continued that he didn't care about what Aiden had been through or wanted. Hope let Rafe ramble for a bit then stopped him with a kiss. Meanwhile, at the Martin mansion, Aiden drowned his sorrows while staring at an old photograph of him and Hope.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Deimos lurked in the foyer and eavesdropped as Kate and Nicole argued, accusing each other of having an agenda where Deimos was concerned. Once he had heard enough, Deimos entered the living room and feigned surprise when he spotted Kate, who informed him that she had finished packing then proceeded to tell Nicole about their plans to get married the following day.

Nicole excused herself so she could get dressed upstairs, and once she was gone, Kate reminded Deimos that he had previously been warned about what could happen if he ever tried to play games with her. Deimos insisted that he wasn't playing games, but Kate found that hard to believe, given what she had just witnessed as well as the fact that she could smell Nicole's perfume on his neck. Kate slapped Deimos, who made it clear that she was getting dangerously close to crossing the line. "You've already crossed it!" Kate spat.

Deimos wondered if Kate had ever considered the possibility that he might have been playing Nicole. "And for your information, I don't apologize for anything I do, so get used to it," Deimos added. Kate countered that the same could be said about her. As Nicole reentered the living room, Kate stormed off, snapping, "He's all yours. You can kill each other, for all I care!"

Nicole guessed that the impending nuptials were off, and Deimos confirmed that it certainly seemed that way. Deimos wondered if Nicole was also upset with him. Nicole admitted that she wasn't sure then posed the same question to Deimos, who chose to answer it with a kiss. "Let me take you upstairs," Deimos whispered. Nicole responded with a joke that Deimos took as mockery, but she assured him that she hadn't meant it that way. "Unlike Kate, I have a sense of humor, so you'd better get used to it. And the other big difference between me and Kate that you should know about? I prefer a commitment before I commit," Nicole added before showing herself out.

Kate went to Edge of the Square and ordered a martini. Roman tried to make conversation with her, but she insisted that she couldn't talk at that time because she had some things to think about. Meanwhile, in a secluded section of the town square, Nicole placed a phone call to Victor. "[Everything's going] exactly as I planned so far, so you can call Justin and whoever else you have waiting in the wings and tell them to back off Deimos. I've got it covered," Nicole assured Victor before ending the call.

. . .

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On the next Days of our Lives...

• Jennifer tries to fight her addiction, fearing how it could affect her kids.
• Jennifer receives a special visit from someone who reminds her of the person she once was.
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