Outside Club TBD, T excitedly congratulated Chad on being named co-CEO of DiMera Enterprises. "What the hell do you think you're doing? What is it with you and the eavesdropping routine? You think you can just play spy around me and it's not gonna matter? How much do you like your job?" Chad snapped.
T defensively clarified that he hadn't been eavesdropping -- he had simply overheard the news while he had been busing tables within earshot of Chad, who had just mentioned it during a phone conversation with one of the company's board members. Chad apologized and stressed that T couldn't share the news with anyone else -- including Sonny. "[Although] I have a hunch someone else knows," Chad nervously added as his cell phone started ringing -- and identified Stefano as the caller.
"When were you planning on telling me?" Stefano asked when Chad answered the call. Chad admitted that he had been content to just sit back and let someone else break the news to Stefano. Chad explained that siding with Kate had seemed like his best way of making a power play. Chad added that, while he knew his father would probably see the move as an act of betrayal -- and even hate him for it -- he had nevertheless had to look out for himself. "Is that what you thought? Well, my son, you made a huge mistake," Stefano replied.
Chad started to say that he didn't have any regrets and that he wasn't going to let his father's threats intimidate him, but Stefano interrupted and clarified that he had called to congratulate Chad, not threaten him. "You have no idea how proud you made me. [...] You did exactly what I would have done at your age," Stefano added. Stunned, Chad pointed out that his move was going to cost Stefano a huge pile of money. "True, true, but you have restored the DiMera name, huh? People everywhere are going to know that the DiMeras are back. That's worth more than money," Stefano replied.
Still shocked, Chad confirmed his father's suspicion that Kate had not been happy about naming him co-CEO of the company, which just made Stefano even happier. "You know, I am beginning to think that you have the steel core that your brother lacked," Stefano proudly declared. Chad admitted that his conversation with his father hadn't gone the way he had expected it to go.
"My only hope is that this new position won't interfere with the, uh, relationship that you are having with that beautiful young woman -- Jor-dan, huh? In bocca al lupo, my son -- in bocca al lupo," Stefano cryptically added with a laugh before ending the call, leaving Chad looking nervous again.
At the Horton Town Square, Aiden admonished Chase for mentioning Hope's wealth, reminding the boy that such things weren't important. Elsewhere, Caroline spotted and called out to Hope. When Hope revealed that she and Ciara had just finished having breakfast with Aiden and Chase, Caroline reiterated that she was okay with the idea of Hope and Aiden seeing each other. Hope remained silent as Caroline added that Aiden seemed like a fine, honest, straightforward man.
Aiden soon returned from sending Chase off to school, and Caroline seized the opportunity to personally apologize to the lawyer for the way she had treated him when she had found out about his relationship with Hope. Aiden assured Caroline that he was simply glad to know she no longer had concerns about his relationship with Hope, and he added that he hoped he and Caroline could get to know each other better in the future. Caroline agreed and excused herself after informing the couple that they were welcome to dine at the Brady Pub anytime.
After Caroline left, Hope confronted Aiden about what she had found on his tablet computer. Hope started chastising Aiden for crassly researching her wealth -- presumably as a way of paying her back for looking into his history -- but he interrupted and assured her that he could prove there had been a misunderstanding. Aiden explained that the tablet belonged to his son, and he showed Hope the games Chase had installed on it -- as well as the folder that contained the boy's homework -- as a way of backing up the claim.
Hope apologized for jumping to the wrong conclusion, and she suddenly recalled that Aiden hadn't known about her wealth in the first place until after Ciara had blurted out something about it right before their planned trip to New Orleans -- something that had happened after Hope and Aiden had started developing feelings for each other, proving that he hadn't just been interested in her money. Aiden admitted, in the interest of full disclosure, that he had actually known about Hope's wealth before then, thanks to something Father Louis had strategically mentioned, on the night of the gala, about the generous donation she had made to the church. Aiden explained that the priest had known his competitive nature would have forced him to match Hope's donation -- and throw in an extra ten percent for good measure.
"There are many, many things that fascinate me about you, Hope Brady, but your money is not even on my radar. [But] you are," Aiden assured Hope before kissing her. Hope couldn't resist pointing out that Aiden -- who had once criticized her because he had mistakenly assumed she had been spoiling Ciara with expensive earrings -- had purchased a top-of-the-line tablet computer for Chase. Aiden conceded that he could sometimes be a hypocrite, and Hope admitted that she was guilty of the same thing.
Hope apologized again for the way she had jumped all over Aiden earlier, but he assured her that he actually enjoyed it when she did that sort of thing, because he needed someone in his life who was willing and able to challenge him once in a while. Later, Aiden tracked his son down at school so they could trade tablets, and he reiterated that a person's wealth wasn't important. Aiden added -- quietly but firmly -- that he didn't want Chase to talk about the boy's mother's wealth with Hope, Ciara, or anyone else, since it was no one else's business.
At the hospital, Theresa spotted Brady and started lashing out at him in the middle of the waiting area, furious that he'd had the nerve to show up at her place of work, especially after trashing her to Victor -- who, in turn, had trashed her to Shane and Kim. Brady quickly ushered Theresa off to an unoccupied break room before she could make more of a scene, and, after apologizing for what his grandfather had done, he reminded her that he was a member of the hospital board, and he explained that he was there for a meeting. Brady hoped Theresa could refrain from causing a scene in the future, since they were bound to run into each other from time to time.
"I know that you think I am this horrible person, and you can't wait to get rid of me, but the truth is, whether you'd like to admit it or not, I am the best thing that ever happened to you, Brady, and you blew it. [...] If all you want to do is remember the bad stuff, be my guest -- I never said I was perfect. But I made you happy, Brady. And while we're remembering, let's be clear -- you knew who I was from the very beginning. What, you called me out in front of the whole A.A. meeting, what, the second time we met? I was bad to the bone, and you loved it. You loved the excitement, and the sex, and the thrills -- the whole nine yards. And deep down, I think you still do," Theresa asserted.
Brady insisted that Theresa was delusional, and he informed her that he had already moved on. "I don't think you have. But you know what? I have. [...] And this new guy I met? He is super hot, and super rich, and he's got talents you could only dream of having. [...] And you know what the greatest thing is? He is crazy about me -- and believe me, the feeling is mutual. [...] And the best thing about him is that he earns his own money -- he's not some lame trust fund baby," Theresa countered. Brady was glad to hear Theresa had found someone who possessed the qualities she found most important in a man, and he hoped things would work out for the new couple.
After storming out of the break room, Theresa went to visit Paul, who greeted her as Tamara. Paul blamed the painkillers when Theresa corrected him, and she laughed off the blunder. Theresa began flirtatiously suggesting various activities she and Paul could do together once he started feeling better, but she paused when he said something that reminded her of Brady. Paul noted the change and apologized for inadvertently upsetting her, but she dismissed his concern, explaining that, while he had said something that had made her think of someone she had once known, she believed in focusing on present and future possibilities instead of living in the past.
When Paige returned home after class, she revealed to her mother that J.J. hadn't been in attendance, and she admitted with a sigh that she believed he was avoiding her -- or perhaps even trying to break up with her. Eve feigned shock and asked for details, so Paige explained that J.J. was struggling with the knowledge that Jack had raped Kayla years earlier.
Eve advised that it might be best to let J.J. go so he could deal with things on his own, but Paige thought that was the last thing he needed. Paige stressed that, while she had agreed to give J.J. some space -- and, in fact, hadn't tried to contact him since their last conversation -- she knew he loved her just as much as she loved him, and she wasn't going to let that end.
"It has to!" Eve protested before quickly adding, more gently, that it was never a good idea to try to hang on to a guy who wanted to be let go. Once again dismissing the advice, Paige insisted that she could take care of herself, and she refused to discuss the matter further with Eve. After Paige stormed off to meet up with Daphne, Eve groaned with frustration and cursed J.J.
In the park, Paige complained to her friend about how her mother had just advised her to give up on J.J. one day after promising to give him another chance. "No disrespect, okay? Your mom sounds kind of...not all there," Daphne observed. Paige speculated that Eve had suddenly started acting weird because of a guy. After swearing Daphne to secrecy, Paige continued that Eve had hooked up with someone after getting the bad news about the vocal cord surgery. "It's what she does when she's lost, or sad, or whatever," Paige explained with a shrug.
Daphne didn't understand how that related to Paige's relationship with J.J., so Paige explained that, while her mother had claimed that the tryst had been a one-time-only thing, she was starting to believe that wasn't true. Paige speculated that Eve might have developed feelings for the guy -- feelings that had not been returned -- and that was why she had suddenly started encouraging Paige to walk away from J.J. -- so Paige wouldn't get hurt the way Eve had. "I know her. What happened that night really messed with her head. For some reason, she really, really regrets sleeping with that guy," Paige mused.
At the Horton house, J.J. was lifting a pair of twenty-pound dumbbells in the living room -- and being plagued with thoughts of his one-night stand with Eve as well as his failed attempt to break up with Paige. J.J. set aside the weights and grabbed a nearby towel to wipe the sweat off his face. "Why wouldn't she just listen to me?" J.J. grumbled as he tossed the towel to the floor in frustration.
Abigail entered the room in time to catch her brother's outburst, and she wondered what was wrong. "Everything! Everything is wrong," J.J. admitted with a sigh. J.J. went back to lifting weights, but Abigail took them from him -- with a bit of effort -- and knowingly urged him not to let their father's past ruin his future with Paige. J.J. revealed that he had told Paige he needed some space so he could figure things out. "She, uh -- she didn't want to believe it, but...it'll sink in after a while. She'll move on," J.J. added, prompting Abigail to observe that he was making things sound pretty permanent.
Abigail wondered if J.J. still loved Paige. "Yeah, like crazy," J.J. confirmed. Abigail could tell that J.J. was holding something back, so she urged him to tell her what the real problem was. J.J. deflected, knowingly pointing out that he wasn't the only person who was holding something back. "Last night, you texted me -- 'Don't wait up' -- and then this morning, you still hadn't come home. So what's up with that?" J.J. asked curiously. Abigail blushed as she started to respond that things between her and Ben had gotten more serious lately, but J.J. stopped her when he realized where the conversation was headed.
J.J. assured Abigail that she didn't have to explain, and he added that she had no reason to be embarrassed, since Ben seemed like a good guy -- and a much better choice than either of the DiMera brothers. "I say go for it," J.J. encouraged Abigail with a shrug. Abigail asked J.J. not to blab to Jennifer about the development. "Yeah, no problem. I know how to keep a secret," J.J. quietly replied as he stared guiltily at the floor. Abigail knew that was true, since she could tell that J.J. was keeping a secret at that exact moment, and she once again pressed him to tell her what was really going on with Paige.
J.J. vaguely asserted that his father's past already had ruined his future with Paige -- and that he didn't know how they could ever possibly go back to how things had been before. Abigail refused to believe that, and she assured J.J. that she knew, better than anyone else, exactly how their father's past was affecting him, since he was struggling with the same fears she had also once struggled with. "It felt like my dad was capable of doing something so -- so horrible and disgraceful -- and I was his kid, [so] I figured that kind of thing, it just -- it got passed down to me, or something," Abigail admitted.
"Doesn't it?" J.J. worriedly replied. Abigail shook her head and insisted that what Jack had done to Kayla hadn't been about who he was as a person -- it had been about circumstances leading him down a very self-destructive path. Abigail added that, while Jack had been totally lost for a while, he had eventually done everything in his power to turn his life around, because he had sincerely regretted his actions. Abigail asserted that Jack had accomplished that goal because he'd had a good heart, and she predicted that it would have broken into a million pieces if he had known that what he had done had caused J.J. to lose faith in himself.
Abigail concluded that, more than anything else, Jack would want his children to live their lives without shame. "It's too late for that," J.J. regretfully replied, but Abigail refused to believe that. Observing that it was obvious that J.J. and Paige were totally in love with each other, Abigail advised her brother not to let his girlfriend go, since he had done nothing wrong, and he deserved to be happy.
Later, Abigail went to the Kiriakis mansion to get a recipe so she could surprise Jennifer -- who was supposed to be returning to Salem later that night -- with a nice meal. Abigail caught up with Maggie while copying the recipe. Maggie was glad to hear that the hospital had rehired Abigail, but Abigail admitted that Chad's involvement in the matter had made things a bit complicated.
Abigail added that, while she had mostly been defending Chad lately, there was still a voice in the back of her mind that kept reminding her of a warning Melanie had once given her -- that there were parts of him that no one would ever be able to truly know. Abigail admitted that Melanie had been right about that, because Chad definitely had a dark side that could be scary.
At the Horton house, someone started impatiently pounding on the front door, and when J.J. opened it, he found Eve standing outside. Eve stormed into the house as she snapped at J.J. for sending Paige all the wrong signals during their earlier conversation. J.J. explained that he had tried his best to break up with Paige, but Eve complained that he had failed -- and that Paige was positive that he still loved her.
"Well, maybe that's because I do!" J.J. snapped. Eve claimed that she understood, but she insisted that J.J. nevertheless had to break things off with her daughter -- in no uncertain terms -- because of the huge mistake they had made. J.J. reiterated that he had already tried to, and he explained that it hadn't been easy, since Paige had been extremely nice and understanding, and he hadn't been able to bear the thought of hurting her. Eve reminded J.J. that he already had hurt Paige, but he argued that Paige didn't know that -- and that everything would be okay as long as no one ever revealed the truth to her.
"I'll make her happy, and I'll be really good to her, and there will be no more mistakes, guaranteed," J.J. promised. Eve countered that making mistakes was all J.J. was capable of doing, and she ordered him to break up with Paige immediately. "You need to stop telling me what I have to do. I don't have to do anything you say!" J.J. snapped through gritted teeth. Eve maintained that J.J.'s relationship with her daughter was finished for good, and she added that there was no way they could change what had happened on the night in question, even if they really wanted to.
"What exactly happened? What night are you talking about?" Jennifer demanded to know as she entered the living room.