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Thursday, May 26, 2016
by Mike

While having lunch with her parents at the Brady Pub, Claire realized that they had gotten back together. Belle told Claire not to get her hopes up about what that might mean for the future, but Claire refused to let the warning ruin her good mood. "You guys are both happy again, so just try not to screw it up, okay?" Claire advised before rushing off.

"I think she might be onto something," Shawn whispered to Belle, unaware that Philip was eavesdropping nearby. Belle reminded Shawn that one great night of sex couldn't magically solve all their problems. Shawn protested that it had been more than just a night of great sex; in fact, for the first time in ages, he had actually felt a real connection with Belle again.

"You were vulnerable, and you were beautiful, and you were the Belle that I fell in love with all those years ago. And it made me realize just how much I love and miss her," Shawn added. Belle took that to mean that Shawn only wanted to be with her when she was frail and vulnerable, but he clarified that he was simply saying that the girl he had fallen in love with had been honest and real. "As opposed to now?" Belle asked defensively.

Groaning, Shawn reminded Belle that he had never been able to argue a case as well as she could because he wasn't a lawyer. "Ever since we came back here, you've been a different Belle. I mean, you've been toying around with Philip, you've been spending money like crazy, you've been indulging Claire's fantasies --" Shawn continued. Belle interrupted to protest, but Shawn pointed out that even Claire had recognized the changes.

"I don't know if you just were trying to get back what you and Philip had all those years ago, or you were just looking for an escape, but you've gotta start being honest with yourself. When push comes to shove, Philip will always be the self-absorbed Kiriakis that he has always been, Belle. He's always going to put himself before you," Shawn warned. Belle admitted that she had actually been thinking the same thing lately.

Hurt, Philip slinked off to the town square and ordered a drink. An attractive young woman soon joined him for a job interview, and when he tried to hit on her, she made it clear that she was only looking for a job at that time. Philip claimed that she had gotten the wrong impression then promised to contact her soon to let her know if he was interested in hiring her.

At the police station, Lani traded shifts with someone, explaining that she had big plans for the evening. Later, Shawn arrived with Belle, and while they were talking privately, he invited her to have dinner with him later. Belle wondered if Lani was still in the picture. "[That] could turn into something...unless I have another chance with you," Shawn replied, admitting that he wanted that more than anything else.

Belle left after teasingly telling Shawn she would think about his offer and get back to him later. Belle headed to the town square, where she ran into Philip, who was dismissive of her at first but soon apologized and asked about Claire. Belle reported that the judge had been pretty lenient. "That's great. I'm glad that things seem to be working out for you...and that you and Shawn are moving in the right direction," Philip replied.

Taken aback, Belle wondered what had led Philip to that conclusion. Philip explained that he knew Belle well enough to recognize when she was in a good mood, and he also knew he wasn't the reason. "You know, don't you, that I really do want you to be happy?" Philip added. Nodding, Belle thanked Philip then walked away. Later, at Edge of the Square, Philip flirted with the bartender while continuing to drown his sorrows.

In a secluded section of the town square, Ciara received a text message from Theo, who wanted to see her. Ciara assured Theo that the sentencing hearing had gone well but added that she needed to be alone for a while. Meanwhile, Hope arrived and started complaining about how Ciara had rushed out of the DiMera mansion in the middle of their earlier conversation. Ciara explained that she had just needed to get some air.

"I meant what I said. If Chase gets out, I'm gonna hurt him before he hurts me," Ciara vowed. Hope understood that urge but stressed that Ciara had nothing to fear because even if Chase did manage to get released from prison, she had a family of cops to protect her from him. Ciara didn't find that comforting, pointing out that Chase would still be a danger to other women. Hope said it wasn't Ciara's job to worry about that.

Ciara got defensive when Hope encouraged her to talk to Marlena. "Chase raped me, [but] I'm the one that's crazy?" Ciara asked incredulously. Hope clarified that she hadn't meant to imply that; she simply wanted Ciara to talk to Marlena because she believed that Marlena could help. "God knows [that] what I'm doing [isn't] helping," Hope conceded.

Ciara tearfully insisted that wasn't true. "Fine, just call her," Ciara added, but when Hope made an appointment with Marlena for later that day, Ciara protested that it would have to be rescheduled because she had already agreed to watch Thomas then. Hope reasoned that Ciara could just ask Claire to cover for her, guessing that Chad would surely understand, but Ciara argued that Thomas wouldn't feel comfortable with Claire because he didn't know her. "I'm the only one that can take care of them!" Ciara stressed.

"Them? Are you worried about Thomas or Chad?" Hope asked suspiciously. Ciara reasoned that it was natural for her to worry about Chad because he had been through a lot lately. "Or maybe you have a crush on him," Hope suggested, but Ciara scoffed and insisted that she and Chad were just friends.

Claire ran into Theo in the town square and told him about what had happened at the sentencing hearing. When Theo reported that Ciara had declined to meet with him to talk about it, Claire revealed that she had just received a last-minute request to cover Ciara's babysitting duties for the day. Claire guessed that Ciara was probably dealing with an urgent matter, but Theo suspected that something else was going on.

Later, at the DiMera mansion, Ciara told Claire about her scheduled therapy session with Marlena. "So, since you're so stressed that Chase might get out, is that why you've been staying away from Theo?" Claire wondered. Ciara explained that she liked Theo but was worried about hurting him. "Then you should tell him how you feel before you do hurt him...badly," Claire advised.

At the police station, Hope filled Rafe in on what had happened at the sentencing hearing then happily revealed that she had finally managed to convince Ciara to talk to Marlena. Rafe wondered if Ciara had changed her mind because Aiden was back in town. Hope admitted that she wasn't sure, and she proceeded to tell Rafe about her earlier encounter with Aiden.

Rafe wasn't happy to hear that Hope had tried to bargain with Aiden. Rafe insisted that Aiden was playing Hope, and she allowed for that possibility but reasoned that she had to at least try everything she could think of to convince him not to get Chase released from prison. Rafe conceded the point, and Hope quickly changed the subject, revealing that she had ordered lunch but would only let Rafe have his share if he promised to stop talking about Aiden. Unable to resist the bribe, Rafe accepted Hope's terms.

While Hope and Rafe were eating in one of the conference rooms, Aiden barged in and wondered if he was interrupting something. Hope demanded to know what Aiden wanted, so he explained that he had been hoping to continue their earlier discussion over lunch. "We just ate," Rafe pointed out. Nodding, Aiden apologized for interrupting then walked away. "That was him letting you know that he is not giving up on you," Rafe warned Hope.

At John and Marlena's townhouse, Ciara admitted to Marlena that she had been dealing with a lot of anger issues lately. "I feel like if I stop being mad, that I'm just gonna start crying, and I'm not gonna be able to stop," Ciara explained. Ciara fretted that she might not be able to handle seeing Chase get released from prison, prompting Marlena to point out that his release wasn't a foregone conclusion. Marlena wondered if Ciara was worried that Chase would hurt her again if he got released. "No, that I'll hurt him," Ciara clarified.

"Could you do that?" Marlena asked. Shrugging, Ciara admitted that she wasn't sure anyone realized just how much anger she was carrying around with her every day. Ciara added that she wasn't just angry at Chase; she was also angry at herself because she had known about his dark side long before he had raped her -- and she had liked that side of him. Ciara thought that could mean that she had a dark side, too.

"[That's] why I can't be with anyone like Theo. Maybe I can never get serious with any normal guy," Ciara mused. Ciara admitted that even after what had happened with Chase, she still had trouble picturing herself being with a guy who wasn't unpredictable. "Like your father [was]?" Marlena guessed. Ciara confirmed the suspicion and conceded that her desire to find a guy like Bo was probably creepy.

Marlena disagreed, recalling some of Bo's best qualities and concluding that he had been a wonderful man. "Yeah, but now he's gone," Ciara muttered. Ciara mused that her true fear might be that she would fall in love with someone then lose that person, just as she had already lost Bo. Before Marlena could respond, Belle entered the townhouse, prompting Marlena to decide that it was a good time to end Ciara's first therapy session.

After Ciara left, Belle apologized for the interruption then told Marlena about what had happened at the sentencing hearing. Marlena revealed that she had already gotten a report from Ciara earlier. Struggling to understand what had motivated Claire to vandalize a car, Marlena eventually settled on one theory: Claire had acted out because her life had been in upheaval lately. "You mean because I had an affair, brought her here, and divorced her father?" Belle guessed. "That's what I mean," Marlena matter-of-factly confirmed.

Belle started to reveal that she had been giving her divorce a lot of thought recently, but Marlena received an important phone call while asking Belle to elaborate, so Belle agreed to pause the conversation so Marlena could take the call. After Marlena stepped into an adjacent room for some privacy, Belle contacted Shawn and wondered if he still wanted to have dinner with her later.

Lani overheard Shawn's end of the phone conversation, and after he hung up, she guessed that he and Belle had decided to give their marriage another try. Shawn admitted that he wasn't sure what his date with Belle would lead to, but he didn't bother to deny Lani's suspicion that he wanted it to be a new beginning. "No worries," Lani replied, assuring Shawn that she had never taken their relationship seriously, anyway. Lani forced a smile then sighed after Shawn walked away.

Theo went to the DiMera mansion to see Ciara, but Claire informed him that Ciara hadn't returned yet. Claire guessed that Theo was in search of answers. "Yeah. I do not get [Ciara]. I don't get her. Today, she doesn't want to see me; tomorrow, she could text me and say, 'Hey, let's hang out,'" Theo complained.

Theo revealed that Ciara had recently let him spend the night in bed with her, but he quickly added that nothing had happened. "But I was just so happy...and then she started acting weird again," Theo muttered. Claire gently advised Theo to try not to let his feelings get hurt if Ciara decided that she couldn't be more than just his friend at that time.

When Ciara returned to the mansion, Theo claimed that he was there to see Thomas. Claire quickly excused herself to check on the child, leaving Ciara and Theo alone so they could talk privately. Guessing that Ciara knew he was really there to see her, Theo wondered if she thought he was being too pushy. "No! Actually, I think I've been kind of a bitch to you," Ciara replied.

Theo tried to insist that wasn't true, but Ciara stopped him and hesitantly admitted that she wasn't ready to be more than just his friend at that time. "You're just not what I'm looking for," Ciara regretfully explained. "You don't even know what you're looking for!" Theo countered, fighting back tears. Meanwhile, Claire returned to report that Thomas was still sleeping. When Claire offered to leave, Theo told her to stay then stormed off without saying another word to Ciara.

. . .

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On the next Days of our Lives...

• Steve and John locate Joey and Jade.
• J.J. and Roman argue about Rory.
• Eduardo makes it clear that he doesn't approve of Gabi's relationship with J.J.
• Chase gets rushed to the hospital, and Aiden works on a plan to get him released from prison.
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