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Thursday, August 27, 2015
by Mike

From the Horton Town Square, Eve eavesdropped via the listening device as Roman and Watts informed Jennifer and J.J. that a rumor was circulating about J.J. dealing meth out of the Horton Center. J.J. wasn't particularly concerned about his own reputation, since being known as a meth dealer would just give him more street credibility, but he didn't want the Horton Center to get dragged into the matter, and Jennifer didn't want that, either.

Roman and Watts warned that Jennifer could just make things worse -- and perhaps even put J.J. in danger -- if she drew too much attention to the rumor in her attempt to quash it, because doing so could cause Kyle's boss to start thinking of J.J. as a liability who was more trouble than he was worth. J.J. insisted he could talk to Kyle and resolve the matter himself, but Roman and Watts ordered him to let them handle it.

After Roman and Watts left, J.J. assured Jennifer that he was going to make sure the rumor went away before it ended up hurting the Horton Center. Jennifer reminded J.J. that he had been ordered not to do anything to stop the rumor, but he clarified that he planned to stop Kyle instead. Ignoring Jennifer's advice about being careful, J.J. bragged that he was really close to nailing Kyle -- and getting another chance with Paige as a result.

Kyle ran into Paige outside Club TBD but didn't have much time to chat because he had a meeting to get to. Assuming Kyle was planning to meet with J.J. to try to figure out if the rumors about him were true, Paige warned Kyle not to believe everything he heard about J.J. Paige started to add that she had just heard an outlandish rumor from one of J.J.'s groupies earlier, but Kyle interrupted and clarified that he had gotten his information about J.J. from a grown woman who knew J.J. and his family very well. After Kyle left, Paige contacted J.J. and left him a voicemail message to let him know he was in danger.

Eve was thrilled when Paige unexpectedly called to arrange a meeting with her at the Brady Pub, but when Paige arrived, she quickly accused Eve of ratting J.J. out to Kyle. Eve claimed that she didn't know what Paige was talking about, but Paige wasn't convinced. Paige fretted that Eve had just painted a target on J.J.'s back and put him in serious danger. Eve countered that Paige was an honors student who never should have gotten herself involved with the likes of J.J. or Kyle in the first place. "Please, just let those two little thugs play their game, okay? And it'll all be over with very soon," Eve assured Paige.

"'Over'? Eve, what does that mean?" Paige worriedly asked. Eve protested that Paige was supposed to refer to her as "Mom." Ignoring the point, Paige demanded to know what Eve had done, but Eve continued to feign innocence. Still skeptical, Paige started gathering her things while Eve begged her to stay. "If you did something, and J.J. or anyone else gets hurt, you will answer to me," Paige warned before storming off. Eve sighed and turned her attention to her cell phone. "Nice photo, Jen. Go, Sonix," Eve muttered, less excited about what she was seeing than she probably would have been a few minutes earlier.

At the Horton house, Jennifer received a phone call from Watts, who started to warn her about something that had been posted online but then had to abruptly end the conversation when he received another call. Before Jennifer's browser finished loading, someone knocked on the front door, and she carried her tablet computer into the foyer to greet her visitors, Maggie and Julie, who were concerned about her because of what they had just seen online. Jennifer turned her attention back to the tablet screen and found herself staring at images of her and J.J. on the front page of the Sonix website, under the heading "Salem's New Drug Lords?"

Jennifer assured Maggie and Julie that the story was garbage. Maggie said she had already instructed the Horton Center receptionist to direct all inquiries about the story to her, and she just needed to know how Jennifer wanted her to respond to the questions. Jennifer told Maggie to let people know that Jennifer didn't work at the Horton Center and wasn't even a board member. Julie protested that Jennifer was a board member, but Jennifer clarified that she planned to resign, effective immediately. Maggie and Julie tried to object, but Jennifer insisted that was what was best for the Horton Center. Julie and Maggie carefully tried to raise concerns about J.J., but Jennifer assured them that, while she couldn't get into all the details yet, she was confident that things weren't what they appeared to be.

Paige met with J.J. in a secluded section of the town square and warned him that someone had tipped Kyle off about J.J.'s involvement with the cops. J.J. thanked Paige for the warning and told her to steer clear of him until the matter was resolved. Paige protested that she wanted to help J.J., but he assured her that she already had, and he pointed out that it wouldn't be good for Kyle to see them together. Conceding that J.J. was probably right, Paige kissed his cheek and told him he was really brave, then reluctantly walked away. J.J. headed off in the opposite direction, and Paige waited a few seconds before changing course and following him.

As Hope entered her office, she received a phone call from Eric, who was worried about Serena because she hadn't shown up for work that day. Hope couldn't file a missing persons report yet but promised to let Eric know if she heard anything about Serena. After Hope ended the call, Aiden announced his presence and asked if everything was okay. Hope assured Aiden that everything was probably fine.

After explaining that he had just finished visiting a client, Aiden asked to use Hope's office phone to make a personal call -- one Hope wasn't allowed to be present for. Hope warned Aiden that she didn't like surprises, but he assured her that she would like the surprise he had in store for her. "Can't wait to find out what you're up to," Hope said before leaving the room. "With any luck, you never will," Aiden muttered.

Hope went to help John sort through his old case files, which she would be inheriting. Hope advised John not to let the ISA mess things up for him and Marlena again, and he assured her that he wouldn't. "It's hard enough with both partners on the job," Hope mused. John pointed out that Bo and Hope had been a great team. "And then we weren't," Hope added. Hope stressed, however, that she had moved past that -- and was happier than she had been in years.

While staring at a large, purple diamond engagement ring, Aiden contacted someone and made arrangements with them, explaining that he wanted something private and isolated because he wanted to have "her" all to himself for a surprise she would never expect. After Aiden ended the call, he received a text message from someone -- "Need to see you NOW! Don't keep me waiting!"

Aiden slumped back in his chair and started rubbing his temples -- just as Hope returned to her office. When Hope wondered what was wrong, Aiden told her he wouldn't be able to take a break with her because he was needed at the courthouse. After Aiden left, Hope rejoined John, and Marlena and Rafe soon arrived to announce that Rafe had passed his psych evaluation with flying colors.

Rafe later went to see Roman, who admitted that he still had some serious reservations about letting Rafe back on the police force, given the fact that Rafe had broken the rules during his previous stint. Rafe stressed that he was grateful that Roman was even considering the idea, but Roman told Rafe to thank John for that instead. Rafe promised that he wouldn't break the rules again, adding that he admired Roman -- and always had, dating back to when he had been Roman's son-in-law. Rafe swore that he would one day earn back Roman's trust. Roman hoped Rafe would be able to do just that. "Welcome back," Roman added as he extended a hand.

Chad woke up in a room at the Salem Inn, unable to remember how he had gotten there or what had happened to him the previous night. After gulping down half a bottle of water, Chad slumped to the floor and slowly started recalling bits and pieces of the previous twenty-four hours, but he couldn't remember anything that had happened after he had stumbled out of Club TBD on Serena's heels.

Ben surprised Abigail with breakfast in bed as a way of apologizing for his recent pushiness. Ben assured Abigail that he was okay with staying in Salem if that was what she wanted to do. Later, Ben offered to take Abigail shopping, explaining that his father had given him a credit card the previous day and had told him to use it to buy whatever they wanted for themselves and the baby. Abigail said she had to get some stuff done at the hospital first, but Ben quickly suggested that he could just accompany her there and wait for her to finish. Abigail seemed a bit hesitant but said she would be fine with that if Ben was sure he wouldn't get bored.

Nursing a serious hangover, Chad went to the town square for breakfast, but while he was sitting near a window in one of the restaurants there, he overheard Ben and Abigail talking outside. The couple had just finished setting up baby and bridal registries at a nearby store, and Ben was struggling to understand why Abigail had insisted on passing up the opportunity to purchase a particularly cute item for the baby. Abigail reminded Ben that it was bad luck to take baby items home during the early stages of a pregnancy. Ben complained about that being nothing more than a silly superstition, but Abigail wanted to stick to it, anyway.

Gauging Ben's somewhat guilty expression, Abigail guessed he had purchased something earlier without her knowledge. Ben reluctantly revealed a box of socks he had bought for the baby, and he assured Abigail that he would keep them in the trunk of his car for a while, so they wouldn't technically be entering the apartment. Ben kissed Abigail as they talked about how their child was going to be the best of both of them, and while they were embracing, he spotted Chad in the nearby restaurant. After the men made eye contact, Chad paid for his meal and stood to leave. Ben directed Abigail's attention to a shop in the opposite direction so she wouldn't see Chad as he passed through the town square.

While wandering through the park in search of Serena, Eric tried to call her again -- and was surprised when he heard a cell phone ringing in unison with the rings he was listening to on his end of the call. Eric followed the sound to a nearby flowerbed, where he first discovered Serena's cell phone then saw her lifeless body staring up at him. Eric contacted Hope and sadly informed her that he had found Serena -- dead.

Chad returned to his hotel room with a bottle of alcohol, which he deemed the breakfast of champions. After finding a glass, Chad took a seat in front of the television and turned it on, managing to catch a news broadcast that was already in progress. "We have breaking news. The murder victim found earlier in Salem Park has been identified. Her name is Serena Mason," the newscaster announced, horrifying Chad.

. . .

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On the next Days of our Lives...

• Rafe questions Chad about his involvement with Serena
• Aiden makes another mysterious phone call, revealing an ulterior motive
• John takes Marlena on a romantic trip down memory lane to prove his devotion to her
• Theresa, Kate, and Nicole unknowingly set their sights on the same goal
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