Stefano followed Kate to the lake, where she was talking to Chad. He asked Chad to leave so he could talk to Kate alone. Stefano was upset that Kate had left the house without saying goodbye. Then he asked her what she was talking to Chad about. "Oh, I see. You can lie to my face for months, but I can't leave the house without saying goodbye, and I have to tell you everything about things that aren't your damn business," she said. Stefano got upset with her, and she told him that if he didn't like the way she was talking to him, he could "go to hell."
Stefano didn't think it was a big deal that he had secrets, because he didn't need to tell Kate his every thought. Kate said that she was referring to the lies, adding that her grandkids had suffered because of them. Stefano said that he had suffered too. Stefano insisted that he had no clue what E.J. had done until it was too late, and when he did find out about E.J.'s decisions, he felt he had to protect his son. Stefano said Kate would have done the same thing. Kate was upset with Stefano for not caring whether it would hurt Kate's family.
Stefano said he couldn't have disowned E.J. or given up on his grandchildren. Kate pointed out that he had lost them all anyway. She vowed that if she were to lose Will or her grandchildren over what Stefano had done, she didn't know how she would live with herself or Stefano. Stefano promised her that they would not lose Will. Stefano reminded Kate of what Stefano had done for Kate. "Sometimes secrets are a way of protecting the people we love," he said. Kate said she knew that.
Will met with Kate and Stefano, and Kate tried to explain what had happened with E.J. and Sami. Kate said that Sami's wedding was called off because Sami had learned that E.J. had hired Anna to kidnap Sydney. Stefano said that he was shocked as well.
Nicole was happy to hear the news that Chloe was pregnant. Chloe told a relieved Nicole that Daniel was the father of the baby. Chloe said that Carly had decided not to tell Daniel about Chloe's one-night stand, since the paternity test revealed that Daniel was the daddy. Nicole was happy to know that Chloe had everything she wanted. Chloe said that Nicole would have everything she wanted some day, too, but Nicole didn't believe that.
Nicole gave Chloe her present, and Chloe got tired suddenly. Nicole suggested Chloe take a nap, and Nicole said she would hang out there for a while. Nicole's bodyguard knocked on the door, asking if everything was all right, and she had to explain to Chloe who George was. Nicole explained that Rafe thought she needed protection after she "blew the whistle" on E.J. Nicole also said she needed a place to stay, because she couldn't afford to stay at her apartment anymore. Chloe offered to let Nicole stay in the guest room.
Nicole went to get her belongings from the hallway, but when she opened the door, she almost ran into Daniel. Chloe announced that Nicole would be staying with them but assured him that it would only be for a few days. Nicole congratulated them on Chloe's pregnancy. Nicole assured Chloe that she would be a good houseguest. While Nicole was checking out the guest bedroom, Chloe explained to Daniel that Nicole had nowhere else to go and that Nicole was afraid of E.J.
Daniel felt it was a bad idea to allow Nicole to live with them, given that the DiMeras were after her. Chloe started to tell Nicole that she had to leave, but Daniel stopped her and agreed to let Nicole stay as long as the FBI guy stood guard outside. Daniel left to pick up some food for them to eat. Chloe told Nicole that she could stay, but she insisted on knowing why Nicole needed a guard. Chloe asked if E.J. was planning to go after Nicole.
Chloe didn't press Nicole to give her the details. Daniel returned home from picking up some food and opened the door in time to hear Nicole say "disaster averted," and he asked her what that meant. Nicole explained that her life would have been a disaster if Daniel hadn't allowed Nicole to stay with him and Chloe. Nicole needed to go back to her apartment to get some of her things, and Daniel decided to tag along so they could get a few things straight.
At the Brady Pub, Sami hugged Rafe and told him that she was ashamed for letting E.J. make her doubt Rafe. She noted that Rafe had never stopped looking for the truth surrounding Sydney's disappearance, and he said he'd done it because he never felt they had the truth. Sami told Rafe that she realized that she was better off alone than married to E.J., and her kids were better off without a father at all than with one like E.J. Sami admitted to not being an "innocent victim" because of all the mistakes she had made. She apologized to Rafe for those bad decisions.
Rafe told Sami that he forgave her. Sami called him "every girl's dream come true" and her "dream come true." Sami assumed responsibility for her role in letting E.J. get between her and Rafe. She told Rafe that she loved Rafe with her "whole heart." Caroline interrupted Sami and Rafe's intimate embrace, and she said that Roman had ordered police officers to stay at the pub to protect her. Rafe asked Sami to go back to his place so they could talk.
Arianna went to the DiMera mansion to confront E.J. about what he'd done. He admitted to Arianna that he had masterminded Sydney's kidnapping. Arianna demanded to know why E.J. had done it, and he said he did it out of revenge against Sami because Sami had hurt him. E.J. said he didn't know how to atone for his actions, but he didn't think he deserved to have his children taken away from him.
E.J. planned to pay a visit to Nicole to see that justice was served, but Arianna told him to leave Nicole alone. Arianna told him that if he went after Nicole, he would lose every chance he had of ever seeing his children again. Arianna said that hurting Nicole would not bring back what he'd lost, and it would only push his children further away. Arianna comforted E.J. and said she was sorry for him.
E.J. told Arianna to leave. Then he looked down and saw Sami's engagement ring on the floor. Arianna told E.J. that things could have been worse, but he didn't want her help -- he wanted hope. E.J. tried to cling to the hope that he and Sami would be together, but Arianna told him to accept the fact that he and Sami were over. He again asked Arianna to leave, and she said she would check on him later. She told E.J. that she was sorry.
As Sami and Rafe were leaving, they ran into Arianna, who said she knew about what had happened with E.J. Sami said it seemed like Arianna was not happy that Sami knew the truth. Will called Sami after hearing what E.J. had done, and Will said he understood that Sami was trying to do what was best for the kids. Will needed to do something before he met up with her and Rafe. Arianna told Rafe that E.J. was a mess when she'd seen him earlier. Arianna said that Sami was partly to blame, and Sami overheard her and asked how Arianna felt it was Sami's fault.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Daniel told Victor that Chloe was happy and was only unhappy when she was at the mansion. Daniel stood up to Victor, saying that he would keep Chloe away from Victor. Vivian walked in while they were talking, and Daniel stormed out. Vivian assured Victor that she would be on hand to make sure Isabella's re-internment went smoothly.
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Outside the Brady Pub, Arianna told Rafe that she did not believe that Sami was blameless in the mess with E.J. "How is all of this my fault?" Sami asked softly as she approached Arianna and Rafe. When Sami started to get angry, Rafe asked Arianna to leave. Troubled, Sami noted that she was partially to blame for what happened with E.J. Discouraging her negative talk, Rafe reminded Sami that she was a victim of E.J.'s cruelty. "Let's go be alone," Rafe said as he took Sami's hand.
Rafe took Sami back to her apartment and the two started to make love. After some passionate kisses, Sami pushed Rafe away and explained that she could not sleep with him after what happened. Sami reminded Rafe that she almost married E.J. after seeing Rafe kiss Nicole. "I used to make crazy decisions and I just thought that I had matured. That I had grown up. And obviously, I haven't. I mean, I'm a parent. I should know better," Sami cried out. Rafe asked Sami why she had come to find him at Nicole's motel room. Sami explained that she went to visit Rafe in the hopes that he would stop her from marrying E.J.
When Rafe noted that he was only with Nicole to help Sami, Sami countered that she was "the kind of person who does stupid things like that, like almost marrying somebody to get even with you." With a slight smirk, Rafe told Sami that he knew what kind of person she was. Rafe admitted that he realized that he had been attempting to change Sami, and that he did not want to change the person he fell in love with. Smiling, Sami told Rafe that she loved him, and the two made love.
As they lay in bed, Sami joked, "You know you're not always gonna be right. Just this time." After cuddling, Sami drifted off to sleep and had a dream about when E.J. had informed her Sydney was dead. A groggy Rafe came to when he realized that Sami was crying out in her sleep. After Rafe roused Sami from her nightmare, Sami noted that she had a nagging feeling that the kids were not safe. "I just can't believe he would do that to Sydney," Sami said quietly. Rafe promised to put E.J. in prison, but Sami feared that E.J. would come after her and the children. "It's not over. He is never going to stop," Sami said. "I wouldn't marry him and now I have embarrassed him and he is going to do everything he can to destroy me," Sami said. "He's not going to stop until he takes those children away from me," Sami added.
E.J. stood in Sami's bedroom at the DiMera mansion and thought about when Sami swore to never let him see their children again. As E.J. sat heavily on the bed and slumped forward, Lexie marched into the room and began to lecture E.J. on his behavior. When E.J. lifted his head, exposing the sad expression on his face, Lexie sighed. "You must be devastated," Lexie said softly. "Homicidal actually," E.J. whispered. Worried, Lexie ordered E.J. to calm down. E.J. hugged his sister tightly and said, "You must think so little of me. But in time I think you'll understand." E.J. said softly.
"And Samantha. I've lost her. Forever. Because of that bloody bitch. The bane of my existence," E.J. said angrily. When Lexie asked E.J. who he was referring to, E.J. screamed, "Who? The one person who has squandered all of my dreams! One after the other, after the other!" Reading between the lines, Lexie guessed that E.J. was referring to Nicole. "If I'm paying for my crimes I think everybody should pay, don't you?" E.J. said coldly before leaving the room.
Arianna paced outside the pub and left a voicemail on E.J.'s cell phone asking him to call her if he wanted to talk. As Caroline approached Arianna, she overheard her leaving the message and was stunned. "You're leaving a message for that evil son of a bitch?" Caroline asked. Caroline counseled Arianna to keep her loyalty to her family and not to E.J.
In her apartment, Stephanie thought about who could have changed the paternity test. As Stephanie started to leave the apartment, she opened the door to find Ian. When Stephanie exclaimed that she was on her way to see Ian, he asked whether she was wondering about who changed the paternity test results. Ian and Stephanie agreed that they felt bad for the real father of the baby, then Stephanie added that with the fake results, everyone would be better off.
At the hospital, Philip was kissing Melanie in the waiting room when Nathan saw them from across the room. When Melanie turned around, she spotted Nathan and asked him about his elbow. Melanie explained that Nathan had hurt his elbow when he rescued her from an attack by a patient. "What's with the secrets, Melanie? Why would you keep this from me?" Philip asked quietly. Melanie said that she was not keeping secrets from Philip, but that she wanted to forget the incident, especially since it happened the same day as Chloe's announcement about the pregnancy.
"I learned my lesson about keeping secrets from you and so have you. It's not something I do anymore," Melanie said softly. Nathan interrupted Melanie and Philip to ask Melanie to accompany him to the operating room. Stephanie walked up to Nathan and kissed him hello. When Stephanie asked Melanie about her life, Melanie commented that Chloe was pregnant. Stephanie asked Philip about the good news, and preoccupied, Philip grunted absent-mindedly. Melanie headed off to surgery with Nathan, leaving Stephanie behind with Philip. Unnerved by Stephanie's facial expression, Philip asked her what was wrong. "I don't think we have anything to say to one another," Stephanie responded. Shrugging, Philip walked away.
As Nathan and Melanie prepped for his first solo surgery, a nurse entered the room and joked that Nathan was doing his first solo surgery so early in his career because he was a Horton. Outraged, Melanie defended Nathan, but the nurse retorted that she was "just stating a fact." Once the nurse was gone, Nathan told Melanie that he was confident in his abilities and not fazed by the nurse's comments. Nathan thought about his promise to Chloe not to tell Melanie about Chloe's one night stand. Melanie asked Nathan what he was thinking about, and he responded that he was thinking about Chloe's pregnancy. "If you're excited than I'm happy," Nathan said softly.
Nathan started to make the first incision on the patient, when his elbow twinged with pain and he dropped the scalpel. Suspicious, the nurse asked Philip if he was okay, and Melanie covered for Nathan explaining that she had dropped the scalpel. When the nurse left to fetch another kit, Melanie quietly asked Nathan if he was okay. Staring at his shaking hand, Nathan admitted he was not sure. "I had a sharp pain in my elbow and then an involuntary muscle spasm," Nathan explained. Melanie blamed herself for Nathan's injury.
Nathan assured Melanie that she was not to blame for his injury. When the nurse returned and asked what was wrong, Nathan explained that he had a small cramp in his hand. Melanie leaned close to Nathan and whispered, "I believe in you." After the surgery was complete, Nathan thanked Melanie for supporting him in the operating room. "When I looked into your eyes I knew everything was going to be okay," Nathan said.
By the lake, Kate pleaded with Will to listen to her explanation about Sydney's kidnapping. Curious, Will encouraged Kate to tell him the truth. "I had no idea of what E.J. was up to. I was completely in the dark until just now," Kate said earnestly. Nodding his head slowly, Will admitted that he believed Kate. Turning slowly, Will looked at Stefano and asked him whether he was aware of E.J.'s plot to kidnap Sydney. "I was shocked when I heard about it today. Just like your grandmother today," Stefano said.
Stefano promised Will that he was not aware of E.J.'s plot. Satisfied, Will went over to the Brady Pub. Will called Lucas on the phone and updated him on what occurred at the wedding. Will defended Stefano and noted that he swore he was not involved in the kidnapping, but Lucas did not believe Stefano's protestations. Overhearing the conversation, Caroline warned Will not to believe Stefano. "Nothing goes on his house that Stefano doesn't know about," Caroline said. Will noted that Stefano had been nice to him and had even defended Sami. Caroline reminded Will that Stefano had put Sami and the Brady family through hell. "Will, it's time you grew up," Caroline said bluntly.
Down on the pier, Nicole told Daniel that he had no reason to accompany her back to the motel. When Daniel asked Nicole to talk, Nicole asked her FBI shadow, George, to give them some privacy. Once George was out of earshot, Daniel implored Nicole to be careful and explain to him what was going on. Nicole promised to tell Daniel everything once they were back at the motel and not talking in a public place. When Daniel warned Nicole not to hurt his relationship with Chloe, a defensive Nicole argued that if there was problems in his relationship, it was not her fault.
Suspicious, Daniel asked Nicole what she way implying. Nicole swore that she would not do anything to hurt Chloe or to destroy her happiness. Daniel agreed to let Nicole stay with them, but warned her not to bring any harm to his family. "You'll probably save my life in more ways than one," Nicole said. Nicole promised to tell Daniel everything about her plight when she got back from getting the rest of her things. Daniel agreed to listen, then left to check on Chloe. Alone, Nicole called out for George, but was surprised to find E.J. approaching instead.
"Just you and me," E.J. said. As E.J. loosened his tie, Nicole gaped in horror. "I get the impression you've been avoiding me," E.J. whispered menacingly. Referencing George, E.J. made a choking gesture. Surprised, Nicole noted "You attacked an FBI agent? That was stupid." E.J. exclaimed that he was drunk and then explained that Rafe interrupted his wedding with a recording. "I've got nothing left to lose so I'm a very dangerous man right now," E.J. growled.
"I know you just like to scare me just like you liked to make Sami grieve," Nicole said. Bristling at Nicole's comment, E.J. screamed at her to be quiet. "You don't care about your children, just the way they make you seem," Nicole said breathlessly. "You amaze me that you can fake being human so well that you can fool yourself," Nicole said. Fighting tears, Nicole accused E.J. of being dead inside.
Philip stopped by Daniel's apartment to visit Chloe and tell her that he was relieved to hear about the paternity results. Spotting luggage in the corner, Philip asked Chloe what the luggage was for. Chloe explained that Nicole was hiding from the DiMeras and staying with her. "That's just great. And she wants to put you in danger too?" Philip asked. "She has nowhere else to go and I'm her friend," Chloe argued. Noting Chloe's defense of Nicole, he wondered aloud whether Chloe had confided their secret in Nicole. "No," Chloe said in a guilty tone. "Nicole may be your friend but she has a nasty little habit of screwing up lives, bringing people down," Philip commented.
Stephanie met up with Ian outside the pub and begged him to help her look in to the paternity test results. Shaking her head, Stephanie noted that she believed Philip changed the results and that his history of scheming showed that he was careless when covering his tracks. Stephanie asked Ian to find out whether Philip was the one that switched the paternity results.
Stefano and Kate returned to the DiMera mansion and discussed Will. Kate noted that though Will seemed to believe them, she added that once Sami implicated him in the kidnapping, neither Stefano nor Kate would see Will again. "I'll deal with that. Don't worry," Stefano groused. "If I lose him, I'm going to walk out that door and never look back," Kate threatened. Stefano warned Kate that he would expose what she did to Chloe if she left him.
"I will make sure that your grandson is not alienated from you or me," Stefano swore. Kate warned Stefano that Will would learn the truth and that when that happened, Stefano needed to make sure that Will understood that she was not involved in the kidnapping. "Are you going to take care of it the same way you took care of Rafe?" Kate asked.
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At the Brady Pub, Will refused to believe that Stefano had been involved in Sydney's kidnapping. He honestly believed that Stefano had changed. Caroline found her great-grandson's naïveté appalling. She asserted that when Will had moved into the DiMera mansion, Sami had followed to protect him, "Because over and over again, those people make people trust them-like Stefano made you trust him." Caroline maintained that E.J. could not have pulled off the kidnapping without Stefano's help, but Will countered that she had no proof of that.
On the pier, a very drunk E.J. asserted that Nicole would pay for betraying him. Nicole pointed out that E.J. was glossing over what he had done to his own family, but E.J. bellowed that he'd protected his family. Taken aback, Nicole challenged, "You protected Sydney by taking her away from her mother? Did you protect Johnny by telling him that his sister was dead?"
When E.J. insisted that he'd assured Johnny that everything was fine, Nicole argued that Johnny had still seen that his mother was heartbroken and grieving. "Is that how little boys are raised to be DiMera men?" she demanded angrily. "By making them watch the people they love suffer, and teaching them not to care? Is that how you become big, strong men-by kicking a little baby out of your house because she didn't have the right documents?" E.J. shouted at her to shut up.
E.J. then lowered his voice and apologized, but as Nicole tentatively began to sit next to him on the bench, he suddenly put one hand around her throat while shoving an accusatory finger in her face. As she was struggling to free herself, Daniel appeared and pulled E.J. off of her. E.J. bitterly warned Daniel that helping Nicole would only lead to hell. Unfazed, Daniel ordered E.J. to go home, and cautioned, "I have got no qualms about putting drunks out of their misery-as a matter of fact, I actually enjoy it." With a cynical laugh, E.J. left.
Nicole lowered herself onto the bench slowly, and as Daniel sat next to her, he asked what had happened to George, Nicole's FBI bodyguard. "E.J.," Nicole replied, beginning to shake with terrified sobs. "He was going to kill me!" she cried. She added that she'd never seen E.J. drink like that, until he was drunk and out of control, and she'd been afraid that if he'd seen how frightened she was, he might really have lost it. She was utterly relieved that Daniel had returned then.
"I just threatened a DiMera," Daniel noted. "Don't you think I might want to know why?" Nicole told him about how E.J. had paid Anna DiMera to kidnap Sydney-and Nicole had found out and blackmailed E.J. "So you blackmailed E.J., and then you handed over the evidence to the FBI?" an incredulous Daniel asked when she finished. "You're right; he is going to kill you." Daniel called to check on George's whereabouts, and promised to stay with Nicole until the bodyguard returned.
Nicole asked Daniel why he'd gone back to the pier, and he admitted that he hadn't felt right leaving her alone until he was sure George was there. "I see you fall into the 'good guy' category," Nicole noted. "I don't have a lot of experience with them. Chloe's lucky to have the love of a man like you." She began to cry again, as she worried that she never would know that kind of love if E.J. killed her.
Daniel suggested that blackmailing a mobster might not have been the best idea. Nicole agreed, but admitted that she'd enjoyed sticking it to E.J. As she started to sob in earnest, Daniel put his arms around her and just let her cry. Once she'd calmed down some, she complained dejectedly that Brady was also a "good guy," but she'd ruined things with him.
George showed up just as Daniel was trying to convince Nicole that they should leave before E.J. returned with a gun. As Daniel started to head for home, George cautioned that the FBI would keep watch over the building, since Nicole was staying with Daniel and Chloe. Daniel didn't really like the sound of that, but George persuaded him that it was the right thing to do.
Soon, the three of them arrived at Daniel and Chloe's apartment, where Daniel found a note indicating that Chloe had gone out. As he resumed his post outside the door, George apologized to Nicole because she'd had to deal with E.J., and promised that it would never happen again. When Daniel offered Nicole something to drink, she requested something alcoholic. He got a bottle and some glasses from the kitchen, while she expressed her gratitude to him for allowing her to stay there, despite his reluctance.
Daniel joined Nicole on the sofa, and asserted that she was probably safe from E.J. for the night. He wished her a good night, and then headed for bed. "It's not over," Nicole told herself anxiously, remembering how desperate and frightening E.J. had been. "Not while E.J.'s still alive." She went into the kitchen and poured some more vodka into her glass, and then took a swig straight from the bottle.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate angrily admitted she was scared that Will would find out Stefano had been covering for E.J., and then Will would assume that Kate had also covered for Stefano. "When the time comes, you need to make clear to Will that I knew nothing of what went on here, nothing," she demanded. "And I was appalled by your son's behavior. And if that doesn't happen, not only will I walk out of that door, I will bring down this house!"
Just then, E.J. arrived home with a loud slam of the front door, and ordered Kate to get out so he and Stefano could discuss family business. Kate observed that E.J. was drunk. "Yep, I'm drunk!" he roared defiantly. "Get her out!" After reiterating her warning to Stefano not to let "that drunk" get between her and Will, Kate left, but hid in the foyer to eavesdrop.
E.J. tersely informed his father about the recording Nicole had made, which Nicole had given to Rafe. Rafe had played the CD for Sami, and Rafe and Sami were taking it to the police. Alarmed, Stefano wondered if they could get the recording suppressed. "I'm not taking any chances," E.J. declared. "I'm doing something I should have done a long time ago: I'm taking my children and I'm getting out of here." An appalled Stefano rose from his chair. "Good God! Haven't you done enough to those children already?" he demanded. In the foyer, Kate heard every word.
As Sami and Rafe lay in bed, he tried to reassure her that although she would feel scared for a while, everything would be all right. Sami was still worried that E.J. would never stop looking for his kids. Rafe pointed out that they knew exactly how to "neutralize" E.J. and get payback at the same time: by threatening to let Sydney and Johnny hear the recording of E.J. confessing to Sydney's kidnapping, unless he gave Sami full custody of the children. Sami agreed that the kids were E.J.'s Achilles heel, because he wanted to be their hero-but she knew she had to keep them away from him at all costs.
Since Sami admitted she might not be able to get back to sleep, Rafe suggested some "medicinal brandy." Right after he left to get it, Kate called Sami's cell phone. Sami was furious, but Kate cut her off. "Just shut up and listen," Kate hissed. "I just heard E.J. tell Stefano that he's going to take the children and disappear tomorrow." She explained that E.J. was worried Sami would use the CD to get full custody of the kids, and warned, "He's very drunk, and he's very scary right now. I think he's too drunk to do anything tonight, but you'd better think about something to do, because he's very, very serious." When Rafe returned, Sami quickly hung up, and claimed that she'd been checking in with her grandmother to make sure the kids were okay.
After Rafe fell asleep, Sami kissed him on the back of the neck. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "But you've done so much for me; I can't let you get in trouble for me." As she slipped out of bed, she told herself, "I have to do something."
Back at the mansion, E.J. wandered into Sami's bedroom, drink in hand, and found her wedding-night negligee laid out on the bed. He flung it aside, and as he sank down glumly onto the edge of the bed, he spotted one of Johnny's drawings on the nightstand.
Kate returned to the parlor, where she found Stefano sitting with his head in his hands. He told her about the CD, and about how it proved that he knew what E.J. had done. Although Stefano repeated his promise that Kate would not lose her grandson over it, she wasn't convinced. Stefano then suggested that the two of them get out of there and spend the night on the yacht.
As Stefano and Kate arrived outside the Brady Pub a little later, she was admonishing him that if she had only known what was going on, she could have taken Will out of the country before the truth got out. Wounded, Stefano asserted that she didn't care about him, but she pointed out that she simply felt the same way about her family that he did about his. "Now you can fix this," Kate declared. "We can go back to where we were, but the ball's in your court." Stefano conceded that he would do it not because she'd threatened him, but because he loved her, and then went inside. As Kate followed, she noted to herself, "But DiMeras never tell the truth."
Inside, Stefano told Caroline that they were looking for William. "You're late, Stefano," Caroline replied, hands on her hips. "Way, way late." Stefano swore that he'd had nothing to do with the kidnapping, and Kate insisted that she hadn't known anything about E.J.'s involvement until earlier that day. Caroline suspected that Will would never believe a word of either of their stories. "It's over!" Caroline declared. "My Sami's going to be hurt for the last time-and she has Rafe Hernandez to make sure of it."
When E.J. returned downstairs, he screamed at the butler to get out, and then made his way into the parlor. Eyes glassy, he staggered through the room as if looking for something. He grabbed up a decanter of whiskey and sloshed some into a glass, and began to sob while remembering the night he, Sami, and Will had tried to teach Johnny how to play poker. As he set the decanter down, his eyes fell on a grouping of family photographs on a table. He started to leave the parlor, but stopped and opened the drawer of a side table.
E.J. went back up to the bedroom, and he began to weep miserably when he saw Johnny's drawing again. As he lay against the headboard on the bed, sobbing, he remembered Sami placing Johnny in his arms for the first time. She had warned him that his life would be forever changed, because he would always have to put his child's needs first. He recalled her fury upon learning that he'd been behind Sydney's kidnapping, and her vehement pledge to make sure he never saw his children again-and he remembered his father's admonition that he had done enough to his children.
Blubbering, his face contorted in anguish and streaked with tears, E.J. reached down and picked up a handgun that had been on the bed next to him, and twisted on the silencer. He glared bitterly at his reflection in the full-length mirror, and then raised the gun to his temple.
Sami burst through the door at the mansion, shouting for E.J., with Kate's words echoing in her head. Determined not to let E.J. leave with her kids, she stormed through the house looking for him. When she didn't find him on the first floor, she headed upstairs.
By the time Sami got to the bedroom, E.J. had passed out, an empty glass in one hand, the gun in the other. "Wake up!" Sami shouted. "Get up! I am not letting you take my children from me!" He didn't even stir, and suddenly she spotted the gun. Her eyes widening, she started to back out of the room, but then she heard Kate again, warning her that E.J. was going to disappear with the children, followed by the memory of E.J. telling her that Sydney was dead. She walked cautiously over to the bed, took the gun from E.J.'s hand, and looked at it for a long moment. Her face went steely with resolve and determination, and then she aimed the gun and pulled the trigger.
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Sami went upstairs to the bedroom to confront E.J., but she found him instead in a drunken stupor on the bed. She started to leave, but then she thought about how he had manipulated her and that he had planned to kidnap the kids, so she picked up the gun that was on the bed and shot E.J. in the head. Sami watched as E.J.'s bled. Sami looked at E.J.'s body and ran out of the house, holding the gun in her hand.
At Daniel and Chloe's apartment, Nicole was frantically trying to find something alcoholic to drink, but they were out of booze. Daniel told Nicole to hold it down, but she was eager for something to drink. He said alcohol wasn't a priority for him with Chloe being pregnant. She was upset about the attempt that E.J. had made on her life and needed something to calm herself down. Daniel advised her to keep a "low profile and learn to say please and thank you" or she would be out on her "ass."
Nicole said that she wouldn't be living with them for long, and E.J. wouldn't be a threat to Chloe or Daniel, because Nicole realized that she wouldn't have "a moment's peace" until she took care of E.J. permanently. Daniel was turned off by Nicole's words. Nicole reminded Daniel that Victor was someone who would threaten people too. Nicole asked her FBI bodyguard, George, what the FBI was doing about putting E.J. behind bars. He told her that the FBI was considering filing charges against E.J., but that wasn't good enough for Nicole. She demanded that she speak to Rafe right away.
Nicole looked through a photo album with pictures of Sydney. She cried as she remembered how happy she had been then. Daniel walked into the room, and she told him how she used to read to Sydney as a baby. Daniel sympathized with Nicole over her miscarriage. She vowed that one day she would get back on her feet.
George said if E.J. wanted Nicole dead, she would be dead already. Nicole credited Daniel as being the only reason that Nicole was alive because he had rescued her from strangulation at E.J.'s hands. Daniel intervened and urged Nicole to calm down. He said if he didn't think that Nicole would be safe, he would not let Nicole "share space with Chloe."
At the Brady Pub, Kate didn't want to "hide out" on a boat with Stefano. She felt that Sami was already plotting to make sure that E.J. lost all rights to his kids, and she wanted to know what Stefano's plan was. Stefano said that neither he nor E.J. could go near the kids and there was no plan. Kate wondered why he was so eager to get her on the boat. She suspected that E.J. was planning to kidnap Sami's kids and disappear, and if that were the case, it would happen over Kate's dead body, Kate said.
Stefano could tell that Kate didn't think he was being honest with her. She said she knew that his children and grandchildren were Stefano's top priority, and she felt the same way. Stefano asked if she thought that he wanted E.J. to kidnap Sami's kids. Stefano reassured Kate that E.J. wouldn't do anything to the kids.
Vivian told Gus of her plan to use a straw to force-feed Maggie "thin gruel laced with alcohol" through a hole in the sarcophagus. Gus asked why Vivian was going to such great lengths to torture Maggie when Vivian was already planning to bury Maggie alive. Vivian thought that Maggie deserved to suffer because of all the humiliation that Vivian had suffered.
Vivian considered Maggie to be a woman who thrived on the destruction of other women. Gus advised Vivian to spend more time at home and less time in the mausoleum if she was so concerned about Maggie wrecking Vivian's marriage. Vivian said that her home "might as well be a mausoleum thanks to Maggie," but she planned to turn Victor's home into a "love nest" once she got rid of Maggie.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie stopped by to see Brady, and Victor opened the door. Brady wasn't there, and Maggie said she wanted Brady to give her a ride to an AA meeting. Victor knew that Maggie was just as worried about Brady as he was. Victor asked Maggie if Brady had told her that Brady had been drinking, but she couldn't tell Victor because she was Brady's sponsor.
Victor knew that Maggie didn't just stop by the mansion because she needed a ride. He asked how they could help Brady, and Maggie said that Brady had to want to help himself. She advised Victor not to "sandbag" Brady. Victor could tell that Maggie was referring to Vivian's plans to put Isabella's body in a sarcophagus.
Maggie said Vivian probably meant well, but it might make Brady think about losing his mother. Victor knew that Vivian wasn't doing it for Brady -- she was doing it to score points with Victor. Maggie asked if Vivian's plan was working. "I'll tell you what does work, is someone who looks after my grandson, who has his back," Victor said.
Maggie told Victor about her plan to go out of town for a while. She said that she'd finally found the strength to take the vacation that she and Mickey had planned to take together. Victor said that he didn't want Maggie to leave. Maggie thought that Victor didn't want her to leave because he was worried about Brady, but that wasn't it. Victor got a business call and excused himself.
Victor ran into Kate and Stefano at the docks and mocked them both about what E.J. had done.
Chloe met Brady at the Cheatin' Heart. He wondered why she didn't want an alcoholic beverage, and she told him that she was pregnant. Brady was happy for her. He knew how much she had always wanted to have a baby, and he told her that the baby would have a lot of love. Brady noticed that Chloe wasn't drinking her ginger ale, and she said she didn't want to because it felt like she was helping him drink. Brady was irritated by Chloe's reaction. He assured her that he was fine and told her not to worry about him. Chloe felt responsible for getting Brady hooked on drugs, but he said he alone was responsible for that.
Chloe told Brady that Nicole was staying at Chloe's place with an armed guard because she didn't have anywhere to go and was scared to death. Brady felt that Nicole was a drama queen, and that was why he needed to stay away from her. Brady warned Chloe to cut Nicole loose before Nicole messed up Chloe's life.
When Chloe returned home, she wondered why so many FBI agents were outside her apartment. Nicole explained to Chloe about why E.J. was after Nicole. Nicole said she needed to figure out a long-term plan, but she intended to fill Chloe in on the details later. She encouraged Chloe and Daniel to go to sleep. Nicole tried to reach E.J.
Rafe still slept while Sami was gone. Meanwhile, Sami went to the docks and thought about when E.J. had proposed to her. She threw the gun into the river. Sami sneaked back into bed next to Rafe right before his cell phone awakened him. It was Nicole, who read him the riot act for E.J. attacking her. Rafe said he would call her back. Then, he turned over to face Sami and noticed that she was pale. Sami hugged Rafe and told him she loved him.
Nicole threw a vase against the wall, and it woke Chloe and Daniel up. Nicole explained that she was upset because Rafe didn't seem very concerned that E.J. had tried to kill her. Nicole felt that she was probably better off dead.
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Carly, Bo, and Ciara arrived at the lake to go fishing and have a picnic. Ciara complained, "I don't want to fish. I want my mommy to come back." Bo tried to reassure her that Hope missed Ciara just as much as Ciara missed Hope, but the little girl wasn't convinced. "Daddy, did you send Mommy to that place because you want to be with Carly now?" Ciara asked. Bo promised that wasn't the case, and reminded Ciara that her mommy had gone away because she was sick.
Ciara was confused, and Bo seemed at a loss as to how to explain, so Carly gently took over. Carly explained that Hope had taken some medicine that had made her do things she would normally never do, much like some medicine that had made Ciara sleepy. She told Ciara that she also had a daughter, and since Carly and her little girl hadn't gotten to spend much time together, she would never want to separate Ciara from her mommy. Ciara seemed to believe that Carly hadn't made Hope go away on purpose.
Later, Bo expressed his gratitude to Carly for stepping in. "You were struggling to explain what was happening with Hope to her," Carly noted. "And the thing you couldn't tell her was that her mother was having a breakdown because she was losing you." Carly added that Bo had been there for her when she had needed him, but she had since gotten back on her feet. She urged him to tell her what he needed her to do-even if it meant her leaving Salem.
While E.J. was bleeding from a gunshot wound at the DiMera mansion, Sami and Rafe were in bed at Rafe's apartment. He noticed that she had goose bumps, and she said that she couldn't stop thinking about the nightmare she'd had earlier. He promised that he would never let anything hurt her again. After they had sex, Sami dreamed about shooting E.J., but in the dream, a horrified Rafe caught her.
Rafe shook Sami awake, but she claimed she couldn't remember what she'd been dreaming about. He held her and reassured her that it was understandable for her to have nightmares. Sami berated herself for having been about to marry E.J. when she as still in love with Rafe. Rafe was sorry that he hadn't found the evidence against E.J. sooner. He asked what she planned to tell the kids about E.J., but Sami was just glad that E.J. was out of her-and her kids'-lives.
Sami expressed her regret that she'd been too stubborn to admit what a mistake it was to marry E.J., and added, "No matter what happens, we have last night." Rafe wanted to know what she meant by that. Sami covered that she didn't know what was going to happen in the future; she just wanted to focus on being happy with him at that moment. "We love each other and we're gonna be together. That's what's gonna happen," Rafe declared, but Sami knew he couldn't promise that.
Rafe asserted that over the previous few months, he hadn't been able to figure out how the two of them could be together-until he'd found the evidence against E.J. As he got out of bed and rummaged for a small box in the night stand, Rafe said, "I was going to save this till we were on a deserted beach or something, and I thought maybe I'd ride up on a white horse and..." Stunned, Sami reminded him that horses made him sneeze.
Rafe opened the box and took out a modest ring, a diamond in a gold setting, and declared that although he could never give her a fancy life, "I'll always put a roof over your head, I'll bring you coffee in the morning, I'll rub your back when you're tired, and I will always love you." He got down on one knee next to the bed, took Sami's hand, and asked simply, "Samantha Brady, will you marry me?"
Sami was speechless for a moment, and then, through tears of surprise and joy, she assured an anxious Rafe that proposing hadn't been a bad idea. "That's one of the things I love the most about you," she asserted. "That you're handsome and smart and funny and kind, and that you always want to do the right thing. Opposites attract, I guess. But Rafe, you can't know what you're getting yourself into! You really want to have a life with me?" Rafe maintained that they weren't all that different-and he could learn from her.
Sami warned him that her life had been a mess until that moment. Rafe countered that his life had been a drag, but she made him feel alive. She worried that her future might be awful, but he promised that they would get through it together. "The smartest thing I've ever done in my life is fall in love with you," Sami declared, smiling. Rafe reminded her that he'd asked her a question. She replied enthusiastically, "Will I marry you? Hell yes!" Rafe slipped the ring on her finger, and they shared a passionate, ecstatic kiss.
Brady demanded to know why Vivian was at the Kiriakis family mausoleum. Indicating the giant marble box, Vivian explained, "I had this wonderful sarcophagus made-for your mother, so that you and Victor could think of Isabella resting in eternity in comfort and splendor." Appalled, Brady asked whether his grandfather had agreed to it, and Vivian chirped that Victor had "rather liked" the idea. "Well, I don't like the idea," Brady growled. "I want you to get this freakin' thing out of here and leave my mom alone."
Vivian apologized for not having cleared it with Brady, but she had been anxious to do something "meaningful" for Victor. She explained that she knew how much Victor had adored his daughter, and Vivian had wanted to show that she understood that. She also wanted to prove herself worthy to Victor-and Brady. Vivian added that she was sure Isabella would be very proud of her son, and Vivian hoped Brady understood her gift. Brady conceded, "Well, if my grandfather says it's all right, I guess it's all right."
Gus arrived after Brady left, and Vivian filled him in about her encounter with Brady. Gus asked if Brady visited his mother frequently, "Because it would be rather unfortunate if he were to learn that his mother's remains now lie beside a long-haired Chihuahua named Pookie at the Happy Hunting Pet Cemetery." Vivian asserted that Brady would never find out-and Maggie Horton would be just where she belonged.
Brady returned to the Kiriakis mansion, and poured himself a drink. As he sipped it, he gazed at a photo on the mantel of Isabella and Victor, and then glared at the sample pictures of the sarcophagus on the coffee table.
On the pier, Victor tried to assure Maggie that he and Stefano had merely had a disagreement about business, but it was settled. Maggie asserted that it had sounded like they were exchanging threats, but even Stefano chimed in his agreement when Victor said that they were "just two old men posturing." Stefano indicated to Kate that the launch had returned, so the two of them left for their yacht.
Maggie wanted to know what all the "posturing" had been about. Victor maintained, "Stefano wasn't playing by the rules. I just made him aware that I knew that." Maggie stated that she had followed him to the docks because after the phone call Victor had gotten, it had been like he had become a completely different person. Victor changed the subject to Maggie's safety on the pier at night, and then asked, "Do you really want to travel the world by yourself?"
Exasperated, Maggie retorted that the man with whom she wanted to travel was gone. She wondered if Victor were really her friend, "Or am I just the instrument that you use to keep Vivian feeling uncomfortable?" Victor asked why she suddenly had such a low opinion of him, and Maggie explained that she'd just realized she didn't really know him. She commanded, "If you want out of your marriage, tell Vivian that-but leave me out of it." Maggie stalked off.
The next day, Maggie called Brady over to help her change a fuse. She explained that Mickey had always taken care of that sort of thing, and then invited Brady to stay for some coffee. Realizing that the blown fuse had been a ruse, Brady declared that he was not going to do drugs that day. Maggie knew that he might be planning to take a drink, but Brady assured her that he could handle it.
Brady divulged that Chloe was pregnant, and Maggie immediately expressed her sympathy. Brady insisted he was happy for Chloe, but Maggie worried that it probably pained him to think about the children he and Chloe might have had. Brady asserted that he tried not to dwell on the past. Maggie countered that she'd been in Brady's position before, and she knew how hard it could be to pick oneself up and keep going-and she had turned to alcohol to deal with her problems.
"Why is everybody harping on this drinking thing?" Brady complained. Maggie asserted, "Because getting high is getting high." She urged him to remember that he was supposed to stay away from people, places, and things that made him want to get high. Brady assumed she meant Nicole. Maggie surprised him by clarifying that she was talking about Victor, who could be funny, charming, and smart, but also had a lethal side. Shaking his head, Brady stated, "He won't hurt me, Maggie; he loves me."
Maggie believed that Brady was probably drinking in part because it drove Victor crazy, but she worried that it would destroy Brady. A skeptical Brady had no idea what he was supposed to do. "If being around him makes you want to drink, then you've got to do whatever you need to do not to be around him," Maggie urged Brady. "Get a job, move out of the house-but get a job that you pick for yourself. And live like ninety percent of the people in this country live." She cautioned him not to minimize his addiction, because it would be a lifelong problem. "Don't give up," she advised. "You never know what's around the corner."
Gus met Vivian at the Kiriakis mansion early in the morning, to give her an envelope containing the forged "bon voyage" letters from Maggie to her friends and family. Gus wondered why Vivian's conscience wasn't bothering her about putting Maggie in the sarcophagus. Vivian ignored Gus, and since Victor was due downstairs any minute, she hustled Gus out the door. Vivian inspected the letters, and was pleased with the handwriting expert's work.
Vivian quickly put the letters away when Victor arrived downstairs. Victor informed her that he was sending her to Tahiti, a place he knew she loved, because he wanted to keep her out of any possible crossfire with the DiMeras. "Oh, Victor," she gushed. "I have been waiting for a sign, and I just got it: You don't want me to get hurt. You really do care about me!"
Victor wanted her to leave as soon as possible, but Vivian didn't want to go until she'd finished the arrangements for Isabella. Victor asserted that it could wait, because Isabella was dead. Vivian was thrilled when he informed her that he was sending her to Tahiti on his private jet, all expenses paid. "Pack your bags; you leave today," Victor ordered somewhat coldly.
At Daniel and Chloe's, Chloe tried to reassure Nicole that things would look better in the morning. Nicole wanted to know how Brady had reacted when he'd learned about Chloe's pregnancy. Chloe said that Brady had seemed genuinely happy for her, but that made Nicole burst into tears. "He is the sweetest, greatest guy," Nicole cried. "No wonder he doesn't want anything to do with me. I ruin everything I touch; no wonder I don't have a life."
As she made herbal tea for the two of them, Chloe confided that Brady had been drinking when she'd seen him. Nicole said that he'd been drinking when he'd thrown her out, too, but she knew he would be all right once she was out of his system. Nicole added that she didn't want to mess things up for Chloe and Daniel-and she cautioned Chloe not to take anything for granted, lest she end up like Nicole.
The next morning, Chloe thanked Daniel for letting Nicole stay with them. "Didn't I tell you I would do anything for you?" Daniel reminded her. As they kissed, Nicole emerged from the guest room, pulling her suitcase behind her. A surprised Chloe wanted to know where Nicole was going. "As of right now, I've narrowed it down to anywhere that isn't Salem," Nicole replied. Daniel reminded her that the FBI needed Nicole to testify against E.J.
Nicole asserted that since no one could guarantee that E.J. would go to prison, "I am designing my own witness-protection program-and it involves margaritas and cabana boys." When Chloe pointed out that Nicole had no money because her bank accounts were frozen, Nicole asked to borrow just enough money for a plane ticket to get her far away from there.
Chloe agreed without hesitation, but Daniel flatly refused. He maintained that Nicole shouldn't leave town, because the DiMeras had connections all over the world, and she would be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life. "And you have friends right here," Daniel added warmly. Clearly touched, Nicole stated, "Sincerity isn't my best event, so, thank you."
In Sami's old bedroom at the DiMera mansion, E.J. lay bleeding from a bullet wound to the temple. The bed around him was strewn with unopened gifts from his and Sami's aborted wedding, and Sami's wedding dress lay on the floor where she had left it.
After having spent the night on the yacht, Stefano and Kate returned home to the DiMera mansion. Stefano noted that Elvis didn't seem to be home, and his bed hadn't been slept in. A peeved Kate suspected that E.J. had gone after the kids, and insisted that Stefano find his son before E.J. disappeared forever.
After Kate called Caroline to check on the children, she reported to Stefano that Will had gone to register for school, and the younger children were with Caroline. Kate wondered if E.J. had perhaps gone after Sami, but Stefano asserted that his son truly loved Samantha and would never hurt her. "Then where the hell is he?" Kate asked. Stefano looked around, and found the empty whiskey decanter at the bottom of the stairs. "I think I know," he told Kate, and then headed up the stairs.
When Stefano found E.J. in Sami's bed, he greeted his son with relief, but then he noticed the blood, which covered the side of E.J.'s head and the pillow. As he dabbed frantically at E.J.'s wound with a handkerchief, Kate entered. "Oh, my God!" she exclaimed in horror. Stefano was sobbing and muttering in Italian, until Kate cried, "What are you saying?" Devastated, Stefano turned to her and moaned, "I think he's dead!"
Kate called for an ambulance, while an anguished Stefano held and kissed his son, still mumbling and praying in Italian. Kate told Stefano that the operator wanted to know if E.J. were breathing or had a pulse. Stefano snatched the phone from her. "Why are you asking all these stupid questions?" he roared. "This is Stefano DiMera. My son is almost dying! If he dies, you die! Do you understand? You get that ambulance over here right now!" He flung the phone down, and then resumed cradling E.J. in his arms.
As Daniel and Chloe were persuading Nicole not to leave Salem, Daniel got a call from the hospital. After he hung up, he told Nicole and Chloe, "I've got to do an emergency surgery-on E.J. He got shot." He kissed Chloe goodbye and hurried out, leaving Nicole and Chloe gaping at each other in shock.
Later, the paramedics wheeled E.J. into the hospital, and Daniel rushed out to meet them. One paramedic reported, "He's got a bullet lodged in the temporal lobe. The wound isn't fresh, but he's lost a lot of blood." The other added that the only reason E.J. was still alive was that his head had been pressed against the pillow, but his vitals were faint: "B.P.'s low, pulse is thready, and pupils are nonresponsive."
Daniel barked instructions for the nurse to page Dr. Manning, prep an operating room, and have six units of blood standing by. As E.J. was whisked to surgery, a desperate Stefano offered to donate all of his blood if they needed it. Daniel tried to calm Stefano, but Stefano pleaded, "I know that you are Victor's godson, but I don't care. You do everything in your power to save his life." Daniel nodded, and headed for the operating room.
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