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Wednesday, January 18, 2017
by Mike

At a bank in Prague, Rafe and Paul used the key they had found to open a safe deposit box that, according to the manager, belonged to Stefano -- although the man knew him as Serge Anatol, one of his many known aliases. The box contained seemingly innocuous items, such as bank statements and jewelry, but it also contained the white queen from one of Stefano's chess sets. Rafe explained the significance of the item to Paul, who wondered if Stefano had led them to the box as part of one of his elaborate games. Rafe admitted that was a definite possibility.

The only other things of interest in the safe deposit box were a pair of deeds for properties in the area, one of which referenced another of Stefano's known aliases, Rudolpho Meradi. Rafe and Paul checked out the properties, but both appeared to be abandoned. With Shane's help, they were able to get a team of ISA operatives assigned to each property for surveillance purposes; unfortunately, the ISA was only willing to spare the operatives for twenty-four hours. Rafe fretted that if the police found Hope, who was considered armed and dangerous, before he and his friends found Stefano, she might not make it back to the prison in one piece.

A cop searched Eric's place for Hope and left once he was satisfied that she wasn't hiding there. After the cop drove off, Hope emerged from the dining room, where Eric had kept her hidden behind some loose boards. As he helped her get settled on the bed again, she asked for details about his parole, which the cop had mentioned while questioning him. He was reluctant to talk about the matter, but he agreed to do so in exchange for her promise that she wouldn't do anything to pull out her stitches again.

Before beginning his story, Eric went to get Hope a glass of water, and while he was gone, he also sent an untraceable email to Shawn on her behalf so her loved ones would know that she was safe. When he returned, he explained that a detective had visited him in prison approximately one month earlier to ask for his help with a young woman who had been temporarily committed to a psychiatric facility in a nearby town. The woman had climbed out a window on the thirty-ninth floor and had been threatening to jump. She knew Eric from his time as a priest and had insisted that she would only speak with him. He had gone to the facility, climbed out on the ledge with her, and convinced her to go back inside with him. Because her father just happened to be the governor, the good deed had resulted in a pardon.

Hope started to praise Eric for what he had done, but he stopped her, insisting that the whole thing had been a sham. He admitted that he didn't truly believe any of the positive things he had told the woman to get her off the ledge; he had simply said what she'd needed to hear. Hope urged him to reunite with his loved ones, but he vowed that he would never set foot in Salem again. He assured her, however, that his father knew where he was -- and his mother would have been informed, too, if not for the fact that she was out of the country for the time being. When Hope tried to change his mind, he irritably ordered her to drop the subject. He then excused himself so he could get some supplies from a nearby store. After he left, Hope passed out again while reaching for her treasured picture of Shawn and Ciara.

At the Brady Pub, J.J. admitted to Jennifer that he was surprised he had managed to pull her away from work long enough to have lunch with him. Sighing, she conceded that she had been really busy lately. She tried to apologize for missing his commendation ceremony, but he told her not to worry about it. They both wished Jack had lived long enough to see his son join the long line of detectives in their family.

Changing the subject, Jennifer optimistically suggested that J.J. might still be able to work things out with Gabi, especially since Chad had decided to try to work things out with Abigail. J.J. expressed doubts, knowing that other things were still standing in his way. Jennifer conceded, after learning that Lani was the woman J.J. had slept with in Florida, that she could understand why that made it even harder for Gabi to forgive him. He admitted that he understood, too. Sighing, he added, "I just wish I still didn't love Gabi so much." He hoped that focusing on work would help him get over her. Jennifer tried to probe for details about his first assignment, but he was only willing to reveal that it was big and involved the docks.

At Club TBD, Dario informed Eduardo that Deimos, not Kate, had stolen the microchips and external hard drive from them. Sighing, Eduardo expressed regret for the things he had said to Kate when she had tried to convince him that she was innocent. Dario warned Eduardo that their war with the DiMera and Kiriakis families was getting out of hand.

Eduardo started to respond but stopped himself when he noticed that J.J. was lurking outside the open office door. J.J. stepped into the office and flashed his badge, prompting Eduardo to question the appropriateness of doing such a thing while off-duty. J.J. clarified that he wasn't wearing a uniform because he had recently been promoted. He continued that his first assignment involved investigating allegations that Eduardo's company, GDR, had been bribing customs officials in order to smuggle certain shipments into the country without the hassle of an inspection.

Dario reluctantly left the room so Eduardo could talk to J.J. privately. Eduardo denied the allegations, but J.J. wasn't convinced that there was no truth to the rumors. "So you're calling me a liar to my face? I appreciate your candor, but I don't really need a lecture on honesty from a guy who has lied to and hurt not one but two of my daughters," Eduardo spat.

J.J. conceded that he had made mistakes in his personal life. "But this isn't personal; it's business. Now, if you don't want to answer my questions, fine. But you should know I'm going to be keeping a very close eye on GDR and its practices down by the docks from now on," he added before showing himself out. Sighing, Eduardo muttered, "No, that's where you're wrong, kid -- for some of us, it's always personal."

Chad met with Gabi in a secluded section of the town square to thank her for the heads-up about Andre and Deimos' earlier battle of egos. Sensing that the fight had been about more than just ego, Gabi admitted that she was worried about the possibility of Chad getting caught in the crossfire. He assured her that he was going to be just fine. He admitted, however, that things were probably going to get a bit ugly before all was said and done. He begged her to distance herself from the situation, insisting that even though Eduardo and Dario were involved, it wasn't her fight to worry about.

Later, Gabi ran into Dario and tried to convince him to bow out of his fight with the DiMera and Kiriakis families, admitting that she was worried about what might happen if he didn't. "You're playing with the big boys now," she warned. "Hey, GDR is just as big as they are. Maybe not in terms of money, [but] that'll come," he protested.

Dario argued that if Gabi really wanted to help her family, she would convince J.J. to drop his investigation into what GDR was up to at the docks. She pointed out that she and J.J. were no longer dating. She added that she would never try to tell him how to do his job, anyway. "If you, or Papi, or GDR are doing something that is wrong, you're the ones who need to stop, okay? Before someone gets hurt!" she insisted.

Elsewhere, Abigail ran into Sonny and seized the opportunity to catch up with him. While she was telling him about how things were going with Chad, she realized that he knew about what had happened between Chad and Gabi. She tried to get him to talk to her about it, but he insisted that he couldn't. He stressed, however, that if she ever wanted to confide in him, everything she told him would be kept just as confidential.

Changing the subject, Abigail wondered how things were going in Sonny's personal life. He tried to dodge the question at first, but when she persisted, he admitted with a smile that he had shared a kiss with Paul on New Year's Eve. "But it's -- I mean, people kiss on New Year's. It's really not that big of a deal," he quickly added. She disagreed, excitedly predicting that an old flame was about to be rekindled.

When Abigail returned to the DiMera mansion later that day, Chad told her about his earlier meeting with Gabi. He started to admit that he probably should have mentioned the meeting sooner, but she forced a smile and assured him that he didn't have to ask her for permission to see Gabi. The smile faded after he left the room to make a phone call.

Dario was still with Gabi in the town square when he received a phone call from Chad, who wanted to meet with him and Sonny to discuss what was going on between their respective families. Dario suggested that the meeting could take place at Club TBD. After ending the call, he started to walk away. Gabi tried to follow him, but he told her to stay out of the matter.

A short time later, Chad, Sonny, and Dario claimed a table at the otherwise unoccupied Club TBD and began to discuss how they were going to determine who had the rights to the technology that members of their respective families were each trying to claim. "I think there's a way that we can resolve this conflict that is fair to all parties involved," Sonny began. Chad started to agree, but Dario interrupted to question their idea of fairness, fearing that GDR might get lost in the shuffle just because it wasn't as big as DiMera Enterprises or Titan. Chad promised that wouldn't happen. "Can I get that in writing?" Dario asked skeptically.

Meanwhile, Abigail, who had overheard part of Chad's earlier phone conversation with Dario, sneaked into the back office of Club TBD in the hope of eavesdropping through an air vent on a wall the office shared with the main section of the club. When she heard footsteps outside the office, she shrank into a corner of the room, hoping to avoid detection. She was soon discovered, though, and she was shocked to see that the person who had joined her in the office was Gabi. Confused, each woman demanded to know what the other was doing at the club.

In a secluded section of the town square, Jennifer placed a phone call to someone and tasked the person with finding out what was going on at the docks. After ending the call, she turned and found J.J. standing behind her. He reminded her that he had asked her earlier to stay out of the matter. She insisted that she had a duty to investigate it because the public had a right to know if there was something illegal going on in Salem. He maintained, "Let me and the Salem Police Department deal with this. It's too dangerous. I don't want you anywhere near it."

After J.J. walked away, Jennifer placed a phone call to someone else and issued that person the same assignment.

On the next Days of our Lives...
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• Chloe admits the truth to Brady.

• Eric continues tending to Hope's wounds.

• Kayla arrives in Prague to check on Steve.

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