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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
by Mike

At the Brady Pub, Marlena asked if Kayla knew when Steve and Shane's plane would be landing. Kayla said she wasn't sure because she didn't have the flight number; all she knew was that they had left Prague sometime after Rafe had. "It's not gonna be a very exciting wedding if the groom doesn't show up," Kayla fretted.

"Would I do that to you?" Steve asked as he entered the pub with something hidden behind his back. Smiling, Kayla greeted him with a kiss and conceded, "No, guess you wouldn't." He revealed a box of chocolates -- her Valentine's Day gift -- and excitedly wondered if she was ready to get married. She confirmed that she was, showing just as much enthusiasm.

"You know, I don't want to put a damper on this, but some people think it's unlucky for a groom to see the bride before the wedding," Marlena pointed out as Steve and Kayla began kissing again. The couple dismissively insisted that they weren't concerned about such superstitions. Meanwhile, Shane entered the pub. After ending a phone call, he greeted Kayla with a kiss on the cheek and told her, "Kimberly sends her love." Steve wondered if that was who Shane had been talking to on the phone. Shaking his head, Shane clarified that he had actually been trying to get a lead on Hope's whereabouts but had reached a dead end.

Shane glanced around the pub, wondering where Rafe was. Steve reported that Rafe was still at the courthouse. Knowing that Hope's case was up for review that day, Shane fretted that if Hope wasn't present for the proceedings, her absence could have a negative impact on the judge's decision. As if on cue, Rafe entered the pub and revealed, after feigning disappointment, that Hope's conviction had been reversed.

As everyone celebrated the good news, Rafe added that Hope wasn't completely off the hook yet because she still had outstanding charges stemming from the prison break. Kayla, who had signed up for notifications of all media coverage about Hope's case, soon received a news alert on her cell phone, revealing that Roman had issued a statement to the press about the judge's decision to overturn Hope's conviction. The group hoped that Hope would see the press release and realize that it was safe to stop hiding.

Steve and Kayla considered postponing their wedding in light of the new development, but Rafe insisted that Hope wouldn't want them to do that, and Marlena agreed. Rafe excused himself so he could head over to the police station to make sure that Lieutenant Raines was aware of the judge's ruling. "Take a written copy of the judge's decision with you [and] shove it down [Raines's] throat if necessary," Shane suggested. Rafe said he liked that idea. He warned that he might not be able to get away from the police station in time to attend Steve and Kayla's wedding. They assured him that they understood.

After Rafe left, Marlena pointed out that the start time of the wedding ceremony was fast approaching, and no one was dressed for the occasion yet. Steve and Shane took that as their cue to leave. Before exiting the pub, Steve gave Kayla another kiss and promised her, "This time, it's gonna be forever." She vowed to hold him to that promise.

At the Horton Town Square, Andre and Kate were in the midst of discussing Chad and Gabi's predicament when Andre suddenly changed the subject, impatiently wondering why the waiter hadn't arrived with his coffee yet. Kate observed that it seemed like the last thing Andre needed at that moment was caffeine. "Do you understand that Deimos is threatening to torture Chad and Gabi? Would you prefer if I were mellow?" Andre asked incredulously. Kate insisted that she was just as worried about Chad and Gabi as Andre was.

Andre admitted that he was also on edge because he was waiting for news about Hope's case. Kate warned that it would be difficult for any judge to justify upholding a murder conviction when the victim was running around the world alive and well. "You may be right, but [Hope still] has other things to atone for," Andre insisted. A short time later, he received a phone call from a contact at the courthouse. After a brief conversation, Andre ended the call and informed Kate that Hope's conviction had been overturned. "[But] she's not gonna get away with what she did to me," he vowed.

Kate wondered what Andre was planning to do to Hope. Before Andre could respond, Austin approached with Carrie and greeted Kate, who was pleasantly surprised to see them. Andre said hello to Austin and Carrie then abruptly excused himself. Once the coast was clear, Austin asked Kate, "You're living in the same house with that creep?" Kate insisted that Austin had nothing to worry about. Carrie argued that Andre seemed kind of scary to her, but Kate maintained, "He had no place to live, I have a lot of room, and actually, he can be good company at times."

Changing the subject, Kate excitedly urged Austin and Carrie to tell her everything about their adventure in Prague. Austin was willing to indulge Kate but warned that he wasn't done questioning her about her living situation yet. Kate dismissively assured Austin that it wasn't like she and Andre were a couple. Still concerned, Austin continued, "Not only are you two living together, but I hear that you're going up against Victor Kiriakis' baby brother?" Kate clarified that she and Andre weren't going up against Deimos; they were simply conducting business with him through DiMera Enterprises. "It's all very civilized, thank you very much," she insisted.

Austin countered that he and Kate had very different ideas about what civilized business entailed. "No, seriously, Austin -- Andre has changed," Kate stressed. Austin remained skeptical, pointing out, "[Andre is] Stefano's boy, and he always will be." Nodding in agreement, Carrie warned Kate not to get in too deep with Andre -- and not to get on his bad side, either. Kate appreciated Austin and Carrie's concern but reminded them that she had been taking care of herself for a very long time. "That's true," Austin conceded with a knowing chuckle.

Carrie soon excused herself so she could meet Kayla and Marlena at the Brady Pub. After Carrie left, Austin wondered how Kate was dealing with the fact that Stefano was alive and on the loose. "Doesn't bother me," she replied with a shrug, reasoning that Stefano was too old to risk returning to Salem once more.

Changing the subject, Austin wondered who, if not Andre, was the new man in Kate's life. "There is no new man," Kate insisted, adding that she had actually reached the conclusion that she was better off alone. Austin expressed skepticism, pointing out that Kate had always had a man in her life, but she reasoned with a shrug that she perhaps should have been more cautious about romantic relationships in the past.

"Sounds like you got burned. Who is he? Just tell me who he is, and I'll take him out for you," Austin joked with a mock mobster accent. Kate laughed then admitted with a sigh that things never would have worked out with the man in question, anyway. "Wow. You really liked this one," Austin observed. He advised Kate, "Why don't you try to bring him around to your way of thinking? 'Cause, see, you know that I know that you can do anything you want when you put your mind to it." Kate gave Austin a loving look, and he smiled and assured her that he loved her, too.

At the Brady Pub, Kayla received a phone call from Caroline, who told her where to find something old that she could wear during the wedding ceremony. Caroline felt guilty about being in California with Kimberly on the day of Kayla's wedding, but Kayla insisted that she didn't mind; in fact, she was relieved to know that Caroline was someplace warm, since it was freezing in Salem at that time. "Listen, I gotta go, 'cause I have to get to the -- I have to get to the church," Kayla added. After ending the call, she groaned and told Marlena, "I am going straight to hell."

"Because you told her you're getting married in a church [instead of] a bar?" Marlena guessed with a laugh. She reasoned that it was okay for Kayla to mislead Caroline if Caroline would be happier not knowing the truth. Kayla admitted that she would like to have Caroline at her wedding; however, she was more concerned about keeping Caroline healthy.

Turning her attention to the gift Caroline had given her, Kayla explained to Marlena, "It's her pearls -- the ones my dad gave her." Kayla fretted that Caroline shouldn't have parted with the necklace, but Marlena reasoned that Caroline obviously wanted Kayla to have them. While they were on the subject, Marlena presented Kayla with something new: a wedding garter. "I am a stickler for tradition," Marlena admitted as Kayla chuckled about the gift.

Kayla was pleasantly surprised when Stephanie entered the pub a short time later. "You have so many accounts you're handling! How did you get away?" Kayla asked. Shrugging, Stephanie matter-of-factly replied, "Daddy thought it was a great idea." She added that it wasn't like she had taken time off work for no good reason. Admitting that she had sort of given up hope that her parents would ever get married again, she raved, "This is such a huge moment! I feel like I should jump up and down; I just don't want to mess up my hair."

"Tell me, does it really rain in Seattle all the time?" Marlena asked curiously. "Oh, no -- [that's] just bad P.R. I love it there!" Stephanie replied. She admitted that she had been avoiding Salem since her parents and brother had moved back there because she hadn't wanted to deal with the pain of seeing her parents in the same place but not together.

Changing the subject, Stephanie presented Kayla with something blue: a negligee. "You'll look great in it! [And] as awkward as this is, you can't sleep in a T-shirt on your wedding night," Stephanie pointed out as Kayla stared at her in shock. Carrie soon arrived to complete Kayla's set of gifts with something borrowed: a pair of earrings she had purchased in Prague. Kayla said she loved them, especially since they were from Carrie.

At Eric's place, Hope triumphantly informed Eric that she had hacked into the accounting program at Hattie's old workplace and had confirmed that Andre had visited Hattie on the same day the embezzlement had taken place -- and that the money that had been stolen from the company had first been transferred to a shell corporation in Bermuda before later being moved to a Swiss bank account that belonged to DiMera Enterprises. She added that she could prove that the money had ultimately been withdrawn from the Swiss bank account with Andre's user identification code.

Hope was pleased to know that she was going to be able to clear Hattie's name. "I just pray that Rafe and Steve can clear mine," she mused with a sigh. As if on cue, she received a news alert on Eric's laptop. As she opened the attached message, she explained that she had signed up for notifications of all media coverage about her case. She was thrilled to learn that her conviction had been overturned, but she soon cut her celebration short, realizing that Eric would never be able to feel the relief of knowing that he hadn't really killed a person, after all. She started to apologize for being insensitive, but Eric insisted that he was happy for her.

Hope admitted that she would probably never be able to properly thank Eric for saving her life. He said he would be satisfied with knowing that she had returned home to Shawn and Ciara and had reclaimed her life. "Maybe you should do the same thing. Come with me," she suggested. He refused, insisting that he wasn't ready to see his family yet.

When Hope continued pressing the matter, Eric snapped, "Hope, just let it go! I'm not going back home, and that's final!" He quickly apologized for the outburst but insisted that he could never return to Salem. "I can never face the people who lost and loved Daniel. I can never be the constant reminder of what they..." he continued before letting his voice trail off, unable to say anything else.

Hope pointed out that if Eric were still a priest, he would be more than happy to say a prayer of absolution for anyone whose confession contained such sincere remorse. "I'm not a man of God anymore," Eric reminded Hope. "Then I will say no more...except thank you...[and] God bless you," she quietly replied, giving him a kiss on the cheek as he fought back tears.

At the police station, Shawn and Ciara thanked Rafe for everything he had done to help Hope. Rafe was eager to talk to Raines, and Shawn was more than happy to point Rafe in Raines's direction. Shawn offered to join Rafe for the conversation with Raines, but Rafe insisted that he wanted to deal with Raines himself.

Shawn watched through a window as Rafe joined Raines in one of the conference rooms. Shawn wanted to take part in the meeting, with or without Rafe's approval, but Ciara advised him to respect Rafe's wishes. "Ahem. Excuse me. Could I get a hug? Maybe? Possibly?" Hope asked as she approached Shawn and Ciara from behind. They happily complied, thrilled to see her.

"Rafe is about to kill Raines right now," Shawn told Hope in a singsong voice. Hope rushed into the conference room to join the conversation. Rafe greeted Hope with a hug then pointedly addressed her as Detective Brady, wondering if she was all right. She confirmed that she was, thanks to him. She then turned her attention to Raines, announcing that she was ready to turn herself in and give a statement. "Finally decided to cooperate?" Raines asked. Rafe started to warn Raines to take things down a notch. "Rafe, it's okay," Hope insisted.

Raines reminded Hope that she was still facing charges for escaping from prison and therefore might not want to give any sort of statement without a lawyer present. Hope clarified that she hadn't escaped from prison; friends had smuggled her out without her knowledge due to concerns about her safety. She told Raines the whole story but left Eric's name out of it, explaining only that a good Samaritan had found her and had nursed her back to health. Rafe guessed that if Raines shared Hope's story with the district attorney, the escape charges would quickly be dropped. "Don't tell me how to do my job," Raines snapped before storming off.

While Hope and Rafe were celebrating, Andre burst into the conference room, with Shawn and Ciara close behind. "We tried to stop him," Shawn stressed. He offered to help Rafe drag Andre back out of the room, but Hope insisted that she actually wanted to talk to Andre. Ciara convinced Shawn to give Hope, Rafe, and Andre some privacy.

Once the coast was clear, Andre pointed out that he had made a deal with Hope months earlier -- a deal he was no longer obligated to honor. He threatened to reveal that Rafe and Roman had helped Hope frame him for Stefano's murder, but Hope warned that if he did that, she would reveal what she knew about his part in the embezzlement scheme that had gotten Hattie sent to prison. She promised, however, that if he kept his mouth shut, she would reveal only enough to prove Hattie's innocence.

After giving the matter some thought, Andre grudgingly conceded, "I'll take your bloody deal." He left the conference room and scowled as he stood in front of a window, watching Hope and Rafe resume their celebration.

At Club TBD, Steve admitted to Shane that he would like to tell Kayla about what they had done to help Hope. Before Shane could respond, Joey entered the club and greeted him and Steve. Marlena, Carrie, and Stephanie soon joined the others at the club. While Stephanie was catching up with Joey, Kayla burst into the club in search of someone to help her with the zipper on her wedding gown, unaware that Steve was already present. She was upset at first that he had seen her in her wedding gown before the ceremony, but they quickly determined again that they didn't care about superstitions.

Everyone was pleased when Rafe entered the club a short time later -- with Hope.

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