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Monday, September 26, 2011
by Mike

At the hospital, Kate warned Chloe that she was never going to regain shared custody of Parker. Kate pointed out that Gus had targeted prostitutes, and she wondered why Gus had attacked Chloe. Chloe guessed that Kate was hiding a tape recorder in her purse, and she insisted that she wasn't going to fight with Kate.

"There's no need to fight, because you're not even going to get partial custody of that baby...because I know that you were turning tricks, and I'll be more than happy to testify about it. So, sing your little heart out -- it's not going to make any difference. You'll be lucky if you even get to see your baby again," Kate warned Chloe. Chloe pointed out that Kate would be forced to incriminate herself if she tried to testify against Chloe.

"I run a multinational conglomerate. You are a hooker. Whose word do you think the judge is going to take, Chloe? You can't win -- just accept it. You are never, ever going to see Parker again," Kate vowed, and she abruptly exited Chloe's room. After Kate left, Chloe sighed heavily, as she contemplated her next move.

At Bo and Hope's party, the residents of Salem anxiously awaited the unveiling of the new town square. After the majority of the guests had arrived, Bo and Hope walked over to the podium so that they could officially start the party. "First, we want to thank all of you so much for celebrating this great day with us. You know, I can remember our grandparents telling us the most amazing stories about Salem -- when there were band concerts and ice cream socials on Friday nights in the summer, and big bonfires every fall, after homecoming game. We loved hearing those stories," Hope said.

"But the square had gotten run down, and there wasn't a lot of city money to rebuild, so...of course, our Gran came up with one of her brilliant ideas. My grandparents -- our grandparents -- wanted to give back to the city that had given them so much, so this begins a new day in Salem," Hope explained. Hope smiled, and she noted that Tom and Alice would have been glad that everyone was enjoying the town square again.

"So, without further ado, I have the honor of unveiling the new centerpiece of Salem -- the Horton Town Square!" Hope said, as the curtains were pulled back to reveal the new town square. As everyone enthusiastically started to admire the renovations, E.J. and his date arrived. E.J. reluctantly admitted that he was impressed. "They actually did something right. No wonder Kate's thinking of relocating the Countess Wilhelmina offices here," E.J. told his date.

Bo and Roman greeted E.J., and Roman pointed out that E.J. wasn't on the guest list. Bo wondered if E.J. was up to something. E.J. ignored Bo's question, and he introduced Bo and Roman to his date -- Patti Stanger, otherwise known as the host of The Millionaire Matchmaker. E.J. pointedly asked if the town square was still considered public property. Bo nodded, and he warned E.J. that he was under surveillance.

Abe walked over to the podium, and he asked everyone for their attention. "As your mayor, I would like to officially thank Tom and Alice Horton for this incredible gift to the citizens of Salem. You are the first of many generations to enjoy this wonderful, public space. And now, on behalf of you, the citizens of Salem, I would like to name this Horton Town Square, in honor of Tom and Alice Horton," Abe said, as he revealed a large plaque. "Horton Town Square -- In Loving Memory of Tom and Alice Horton," the plaque read, and Tom and Alice's wedding portrait was engraved in the center of the plaque.

After the presentation, Jennifer asked Hope if Patti Stanger was the surprise guest. Hope insisted that she had not been aware that Patti was going to be at the party. Roman overheard Hope and Jennifer's discussion, and he explained that Patti was E.J.'s date. "Date? E.J. dates? I had no idea -- I thought he just married women, or held them prisoner," Hope joked.

Nicole greeted E.J. and Patti. Patti started to offer to set Nicole up with a rich client, but Adrienne interrupted, and she pulled Patti aside so that she could take some pictures with the matchmaker. After Patti and Adrienne left, E.J. wondered where Brady was. Nicole shrugged, and she told E.J. to enjoy his date.

As the guests continued to mingle with each other, Bo and Hope returned to the podium. "All right, guys -- I know you're all wondering who our special guests of honor are," Hope said, as she pointed to a secluded part of the town square. Carrie and Austin emerged from their hiding spot, and everyone enthusiastically welcomed them back to Salem.

Sami and Roman were shocked, but before they could say anything to Carrie, Hope announced that she wasn't finished with the surprises yet. Bo explained that there had been a possibility that Carrie and Austin would not have been able to make it to Salem in time for the party. Bo added that he and Hope had devised a backup plan, and he said that Carrie and Austin were not the actual guests of honor. Hope said that their other guests of honor were going to be late, but she assured everyone that the guests would make it to the party eventually.

As the conversations resumed, Jennifer told Daniel that she had worked with Austin on a television show a few years earlier. Daniel assumed that Jennifer and Austin had dated, but Jennifer insisted that her relationship with Austin had been strictly platonic. As Jennifer started to kiss Daniel, Chad and Abigail interrupted. Jennifer was embarrassed, but Abigail said that she was happy that Jennifer and Daniel were together. Meanwhile, at the nearby bar, Jack eavesdropped on Jennifer and Abigail's conversation, and he wondered who Daniel was.

Elsewhere, Sami hugged Carrie, and she introduced Rafe to Austin. Carrie explained that she had started a new career as a lawyer. Carrie said that she was enjoying her job, but she admitted that law school had been a nightmare. Rafe noted that Austin was a forensic accountant, and Austin jokingly admitted that his job was boring. Roman approached the group, and he said that it was great to see that Carrie and Sami were getting along with each other.

Later, Jennifer greeted Sami and Rafe, and she wondered how Sami's job interview had gone. Sami sighed, and Jennifer quickly realized that Sami had not told Rafe about the interview. Jennifer was embarrassed, and she quickly excused herself. After Jennifer left, Sami spotted Will and Gabi, and she quickly grabbed them. Sami claimed that Carrie and Austin were anxious to see their nephew, and she rushed off before Rafe could ask her about the interview.

Will introduced Gabi to Austin and Carrie, and he explained that Gabi was Rafe's sister. After a brief conversation, Sami, Rafe, Austin, and Carrie excused themselves so that they could talk to Caroline. Gabi wondered why Will had not introduced her as his girlfriend. Will laughed nervously, and he pointed out that he and Gabi had been holding hands. Will claimed that he had assumed that it would have been obvious that he and Gabi were dating, then he quickly changed the subject.

Jack spotted Adrienne and Jennifer at a nearby bench, and he ducked behind a tree so that he could eavesdrop. Jennifer admitted that she felt terrible about the fact that she had accidentally revealed Sami's secret to Rafe. Adrienne dryly stated that it was shocking that Sami had been keeping a secret from her husband, and she wondered if Jennifer was joking. Adrienne changed the subject, and she noted that Jennifer and Daniel seemed happy together.

Jennifer confirmed that she was happy, then she quickly apologized, and she wondered if it was difficult for Adrienne to hear that. "Oh, honey, I'm happy for you. I just keeping thinking about how much my brother blew it. He turned his back on a wonderful family," Adrienne said. Jack sighed, and he realized that he needed to reveal himself. Before Jack could make his move, Daniel walked over to the bench. As Jack watched, Jennifer kissed Daniel, then she followed him into the crowd so that they could dance.

Maggie spotted Victor and Brady, and she walked over to talk to them. As Maggie approached, Victor and Brady abruptly ended their conversation, and Maggie wondered what they were up to. Victor assured Maggie that he wasn't planning to do anything that was underhanded, but Maggie wasn't convinced. Before Victor could respond, Maggie excused herself so that she could check on Melanie.

A short time later, Maggie spotted Victor, and she noticed that he was talking to Hope and Jennifer. As Maggie approached the group, Victor, Hope, and Jennifer abruptly ended their conversation. Maggie noted that it was the second time that Victor's conversation had ended the moment that she had arrived. Hope and Jennifer abruptly excused themselves, and Victor claimed that he didn't know what Maggie was talking about.

Rafe asked Sami about the job interview that she had neglected to tell him about. Sami claimed that she had not been trying to hide the interview from Rafe, but he wasn't convinced. Rafe realized that Sami was talking about the mysterious job that he had warned her about. Sami assured Rafe that the company probably had a really good reason for being secretive. Before Rafe could protest, Will and Gabi interrupted, and Will asked if Sami had seen Carrie and Austin recently. Sami eagerly offered to help Will and Gabi find Carrie and Austin, and Rafe promised her that their conversation wasn't over.

As Jack lurked nearby, Chad wondered what Abigail was thinking about. "Same thing I think about every time something major happens -- why isn't my dad here? How could he just walk out on us? How come I never even hear from him?" Abigail asked, as Chad hugged her.

Meanwhile, as Bo and Hope danced, Bo smiled at Hope. "You're amazing. Whether it's planning a huge party like this, or putting a six-foot suspect in a choke hold...you're always the most elegant woman in the room," Bo said. As Bo kissed Hope, he received a text message, and he and Hope excitedly realized that the guests of honor would be arriving shortly. Bo and Hope returned to the podium.

"I know that my wonderful grandparents, the beloved Tom and Alice Horton, would be so proud of this day. Family meant everything to them, and their definition of family was always very inclusive -- they saw the people of Salem as family. I know my grandparents are here...in spirit...with us tonight, and now, there are two people that are very important to this community...and to our family. And guess what, guys? They're here!" Hope announced, as Marlena entered the Horton Town Square, accompanied by a wheelchair-bound John.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the hospital, Brady walked into Chloe's hospital room and found her lying on her bed, fully clothed. When Brady urged Chloe to get ready for her audition, Chloe wondered aloud what the point was in going to the audition. Brady asked Chloe what had happened, and she filled him in on the details of Kate's visit. Angered by Chloe's defeatist attitude, Brady urged Chloe to go to the audition and leave Kate up to him. "I'm going to make sure you both get what you deserve," Brady said.

At the party for the dedication of Horton Town Square, the crowd rejoiced when John and Marlena arrived. A giddy Sami and Carrie rushed to greet their mother. Austin guided John's wheelchair over to see Victor and Maggie, while a smiling Carrie admitted to Sami that she had known that John and Marlena were the surprise guests. Carrie went to mingle at the party as Rafe walked up. Marlena hugged Rafe and thanked him for taking care of her daughter.

Marlena rejoined John, and the two talked about feeling overwhelmed. "Everybody's here," Marlena said. With a scowl, John responded, "Not everybody." Will walked up behind Marlena and whispered hello. Thrilled to hear her grandson's voice, Marlena spun around and hugged Will tightly.

Will asked John how he was feeling, and John admitted he felt a lot better than the last time he had been in town. Will led Gabi over to introduce her to John and Marlena while Doug took pictures. Hope joined the group, and John thanked her for coordinating their return to Salem. With a sigh, John said that it would be difficult to leave Salem again. Suspicious, Hope asked John if he had a surprise. With a grin, John explained that he was giving Hope a taste of her own medicine.

Marlena took Sami aside and apologized for not being with her during her medical scare. Sami told Marlena that the past did not matter because she was happy to have Marlena in town. Across the square, Carrie and Austin sat at the bar with Roman and talked about Carrie's career as a defense attorney.

Nearby, Chad sidled up next to Kate and asked her why she did not appear to be enjoying the party. Seeing John and Marlena across the square, Kate scowled then walked over to E.J. and Patti. When Kate noted that she was looking around the world for fresh-faced models for Countess W, Patti suggested to Kate that she should look locally.

By the stage in the square, Daniel wrapped his arms around Jennifer. "I am so proud of Hope tonight because she managed to honor my grandparents in a way that is as special as they were," Jennifer said. With a grin, Daniel complimented Jennifer and kissed her as a puppy dog-eyed Jack stared from the corner.

Marlena and John went to the podium, and Marlena took the microphone. Marlena thanked everyone for supporting them during John's recovery. "That's a fact," John chimed in jovially. Marlena explained that the love and support of everyone had led them back to Salem to share in that moment. With a nod from Marlena, John slowly rose from his wheelchair and thanked everyone.

"You all were are a part of this, and I don't think you will ever fully understand just how important your love and support was to us," John said. John noted that though he had a long way to go in his recovery, he would be able to face it with Marlena at his side. "You are the love of my life," John said before he kissed Marlena tenderly.

After the announcement, the press asked Kate questions about Countess W and Kate's secret to her success. With a devilish grin, Kate answered, "I refuse to lose." Across the way, Marlena confided to Sami that John had made sure he could stand before he made an attempt at the party. Marlena said that she wanted a new beginning for everyone. Looking over at Carrie, Sami promised that she "would try."

When Sami noted that John's recovery was a miracle, Marlena sighed and countered that there was still a lot of recovery that John needed to go through. On the dance floor, Abigail danced with Chad and spotted a sad-looking Melanie over by the stage. Abigail urged Chad to ask Melanie to dance. While Abigail left to mingle in the crowd, Chad led Melanie onto the floor.

Melanie noted that she understood that Chad was dancing with her out of pity. Chad joked that Melanie looked too pretty to be pitiful. With a sly smile, Melanie noted that Chad was definitely a DiMera, since he lied so well.

Wanting to freshen up, Jennifer excused herself from Daniel and headed for the restroom. Sensing an opportunity, Jack pursued Jennifer. When Jennifer returned from the restroom, she had a strange feeling and looked around. Jack was skulking behind a pillar when Maggie surprised Jennifer. Jennifer admitted to Maggie that she felt like she was missing something. Smiling, Maggie suggested that Jennifer was feeling overwhelmed because of the party. "This town square is filled with the presence of so many loved ones, both present and past," Maggie said.

By the Mandalay Cafe in the square, Nicole and Kinsey talked while E.J. listened nearby. Nicole noted that she no longer felt like she needed a man to feel fulfilled. With a grin, Nicole spotted Chloe and Brady enter the party and greeted them. Chloe excused herself, noting that she wanted to get her life back.

Kate and her former assistant, Chris, walked to an alcove in the square and sat on a bench. While Chris chattered merrily away, Kate looked at her phone. As Kate started to make a phone call, Chloe marched up to her and pulled the phone away from Kate's ear. Chris warned Chloe not to mess with Kate, but Kate waved Chris away.

Once alone, Chloe told Kate that Kate would not keep Chloe from Parker. Chloe informed Kate that Quinn wanted to make amends for his part in Kate's plot to blackmail her into prostitution. Chloe explained that Quinn was willing to implicate Kate, which would wreak havoc on Kate's launch campaign for Countess W. "I know that I am a good mother. Something you don't know anything about. Get out of my way. Get out of my life," Chloe said.

While Will took pictures with his siblings, Sami, Carrie, Austin, John, Marlena, Abe, and Lexie chatted nearby about his big announcement. After the pictures were taken, E.J. cautiously walked into the view of his children. "Hi, daddy," Sydney said. Fighting tears, E.J. smiled and quietly asked Sami if he could have a moment with his children. Roman warned E.J. not to cause any trouble. E.J. noted that he wanted to tell his children that he loved them. When Rafe offered to take care of E.J., Sami said that she was fine with E.J. talking to his children.

"Don't blow this," Sami said quietly to E.J. before stepping aside. With a sigh, E.J. squatted down, and Sydney walked into his arms. Still unsure off his father, Johnny hugged Sami and stared at E.J. E.J. asked Johnny if he was enjoying the party. When E.J. congratulated Johnny on his soccer team's win, an excited Johnny asked E.J. if he had watched the game. E.J. admitted that he had not seen the game but that he had heard that Johnny had scored a goal.

Sami told Johnny that he could hug his father if he wanted to. Johnny rushed into E.J.'s arms. As E.J. hugged his children tightly, E.J. looked over at Sami and whispered thank you. With a sigh, E.J. gently guided his children back to Sami's arms, and then he walked around the corner, fighting tears.

Marlena took Will aside and asked him how he was doing. Marlena remarked that Will's emails offered information about everyone's lives except his own. Marlena encouraged Will to talk to her if he needed anyone to listen.

Hope headed to the podium and announced the official dedication of the Horton Town Square. Hope called Jennifer up to the podium to say a few words about Alice and Tom. Jennifer talked about the great love between Alice and Tom and how their love was infectious in the community. "We feel them every day, Jennifer said.

"They never want us to stop knowing that the most important thing, the most important thing in your life is to love each other," Jennifer said to the crowd as Jack watched from the back. With a smile, Jennifer asked Hope to read Tom's poem.

At the bar, Chloe told Kinsey, Brady, and Nicole about her confrontation with Kate. Brady told Chloe that he was proud of her. Nicole reminded Chloe that she was late for her audition. Chloe thanked Nicole and Brady for sticking by her, then left with Kinsey.

Back at the stage, Hope read Tom's poem. "There is a beauty seen by my eye, perceived as only I see. For it adds now to memory of past beauty still bright and a life that has been lived with me. There is a name for this total of light and sound and beauty, gilt and gold mined all through my life. And the name of this treasure held warm in my heart is my friend, my lover, my wife," read Hope. With the poem finished, Hope asked if anyone wanted to share their memories of Alice and Tom.

In the corner, Patti urged E.J. to make his announcement. With a grin, E.J. noted that the time was not quite right. Up on stage, Maggie talked about how Alice had taught her how powerful love could be. After Maggie finished, Julie took to the podium and noted that what she remembered was how Alice had beamed when she looked at Tom. After Julie finished, Bo, John, Abe, and Roman each took to the stage and talked about Alice.

After everyone shared their memories, Marlena gave a speech about how the tree at the center of the town square was meant to inspire the community, "Just like Tom and Alice." Marlena then flipped the switch to light the tree. As the crowd stared at the tree, Bo put his arm around Julie and told her it was time.

Doug joined Julie at the podium and the two began to sing the song "Always." On the dance floor, all of the couples danced with one another, while Jack watched from the corner and Melanie wiped way tears. "We're home," Marlena whispered to John.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011
by Mike

At the Horton Town Square, the residents of Salem continued to celebrate. Roman greeted Marlena, and he said that he was glad that Marlena and John were back in Salem, where they belonged. Roman guessed that the past few years had been difficult for John and Marlena, and he wondered if everything was all right. Marlena assured Roman that everything was fine, but Roman wasn't convinced.

Meanwhile, John greeted Brady, and he said that he wanted to talk to Brady about something. Brady said that John had already expressed his feelings about Brady's life, and he explained that none of the things that John had been upset about had changed. John insisted that he was just concerned about Brady. John started to add something else, but he quickly realized that the party probably wasn't the best place to talk about the matter. Brady nodded, and he abruptly excused himself.

After Brady left, Marlena returned to her husband's side, and she assured John that Brady would change his mind eventually. "Come on, Doc -- he's my son. He got himself involved in situations he knew he shouldn't have. He doesn't want to admit it, he doesn't want to hear me say it, so he's putting up walls and keeping me at a distance," John said. John added that Brady was a grown man, and he admitted that he wasn't going to be able to force his way into Brady's life.

"Well, the man I know -- the man I love -- just stood on a dance floor and held me in his arms, when doctor after doctor said he would never even walk again. So, you know what that tells me? That you never give up -- you just don't. Not on yourself, and not on your family," Marlena said. John dryly stated that he had assumed that his recovery was just proof of his stubbornness. "So, do you think we should tell everyone the other reason we're here?" John asked. Marlena shook her head, and she said that she didn't want to ruin the party.

Chloe excitedly informed Brady, Nicole, and Kinsey that she had landed the singing gig in Chicago. Chloe thanked Brady for his help, but Brady reminded Chloe that she was the one who had nailed the audition. Brady asked Chloe to believe in herself, and he insisted that she could do anything that she wanted to do.

Later, Chloe told Daniel and Jennifer about the job in Chicago, and she explained that she was going to be leaving Salem. Chloe said that she was shocked that the club in Chicago had hired her. Daniel insisted that Chloe was an incredibly talented woman, and he added that he never wanted her to underestimate her abilities. Daniel hugged Chloe, and she thanked him for his kindness.

Chloe spotted Justin and Adrienne nearby, and she excused herself so that she could say goodbye to them. Later, Kinsey arrived at the party, and she offered to move to Chicago with Chloe. Kinsey explained that she could use a fresh start, and she added that she could babysit Parker during Chloe's performances. Chloe eagerly agreed, and Kinsey rushed off so that she could pack. Meanwhile, Chloe said goodbye to Brady and Nicole.

As Sonny and Melanie returned to their seats after dancing with each other, Melanie thanked Sonny for being her dance partner. "Hey, you get me until I find a guy as cute as you, but then you're on your own," Sonny warned Melanie. Melanie wondered if it was difficult for Sonny to be open about his sexuality. "What? Being gay, or being gay in Salem? 'Cause those are two totally different things. I'm cool with who I am, and so are most of the people I know, but if I were to bring someone around, that's when I have to start being more careful. I have to be aware of who's around me, because if I want to put my arm around him...there's just always someone who's not gonna like it, and they're not afraid to say it, either," Sonny explained.

Melanie started to apologize for the intolerance that Sonny had been forced to deal with, but Sonny assured her that there was no need to do so. "I'm glad that I'm out. That's what people don't understand -- being gay is a small part of who I am, and if you're looking for someone to feel sorry for, it's for those people who don't get that," Sonny added. Meanwhile, at a nearby table, Gabi and Will overheard Sonny and Melanie's conversation. Gabi told Will that she wasn't convinced that Sonny's life was as easy as he was claiming that it was.

Will shrugged and said that Sonny seemed fine. Gabi recalled T's homophobic comments, and she said that her mother had told her that Sonny was the exception to the rule. Before Will could respond, Gabi rushed off. After Gabi left, Will sighed, and he gazed at Sonny and Melanie's table with interest.

Elsewhere, Austin greeted Kate, and he said that Billie and Chelsea were not going to be able to make it to the party. Austin added that Billie had not forgotten about the fact that Alice and Maggie had been the first two people to invest in Countess Wilhelmina, and he said that Billie would have loved to be able to attend the party. Kate pointed to one of the buildings in the town square. Kate explained that she was planning to relaunch Countess Wilhelmina, and she added that she had chosen that building as the site of her company headquarters.

E.J. approached Nicole at the bar, and he told her that she looked smashing. "Yeah, well, I was hoping to be smashed," Nicole joked, as she ordered another drink. Nicole started to walk away, but E.J. chased after her, and he wondered why Nicole had not taken a date to the party. "Because I've changed, E.J. I decided that I don't want to be with some idiot guy for all the wrong reasons," Nicole said. E.J. assumed that Nicole was talking about him.

Nicole told E.J. that he needed to stop trying to take credit for everything, and she clarified that she was talking about Gus. "When he took me hostage, my pathetic, sad life passed in front of me, okay? Thank you for picking me up off the floor, and all that...that was great. Thank you. But I just realized, E.J., that I need to rely on myself. I don't know what will happen...maybe I'm having some sort of spiritual awakening," Nicole said, and she explained that she had decided to stay away from the wrong men.

Nicole admitted that she had gone to the party to see Sydney and Johnny. Nicole added that she had also been drawn to the party because of the open bar. E.J. mockingly suggested that Nicole might have gone to the party to pay tribute to Tom and Alice's wonderful, conventional marriage. Nicole wasn't impressed with E.J.'s cynicism, and she insisted that Tom and Alice's relationship had been rare.

"These two beautiful people -- this couple -- they managed to find what everyone out there is looking for, E.J. Everyone -- I'm sorry, everyone except you, of course. To find someone to spend the rest of their life with. To find someone that needs you as much as you need them, who understands you, who loves you, no matter what. That is what I want. I am tired of settling, E.J., and I -- God, I may never find it, but I would rather die than end up in some man's arms that I can't stand. I don't know -- maybe it's the romantic in me," Nicole said. Nicole sarcastically wished E.J. luck with his millionaire matchmaker. Before E.J. could respond, Nicole walked away.

As Jack continued to eavesdrop on the members of his family, Abigail told Adrienne that she had enjoyed the party. Abigail admitted that the party would have been even better if Jack had been in attendance. Jennifer comforted Abigail, and she assured Abigail that they were going to put all of the pain and anger behind them. Jennifer told Abigail that it was time for them to move on with their lives. Adrienne grinned and noted that it was going to be easy for Jennifer to move on with her life, because she had a handsome doctor to take care of her.

Before Jennifer could respond, Daniel approached the group, and he asked Jennifer to follow him. Jennifer assumed that Daniel wanted to dance with her, but Daniel cryptically explained that he had a surprise for Jennifer. Daniel hinted that the surprise was more important than a dance. Jennifer followed Daniel over to another area of the town square, and Jack secretly followed them.

As Daniel escorted Jennifer over to a spot near a large cake, Jack ducked into the nearby stairwell, and he continued to eavesdrop. Daniel kissed Jennifer, and he declared his love for her. "I've made a lot of mistakes in the past with relationships. I'm not perfect, and I know that, but...you are perfect for me, and I know we said, 'Don't rush things,' and I heard you, but today...just all of this...I was thinking about your grandparents, and about how important life really is, and the things that are important to me, and I just feel that this is the right time to say...I'm ready...to make a bigger commitment to you -- to us," Daniel said, as Jack's jaw dropped to the floor.

"Jennifer, I am crazy about you, and I want your smile to be the last thing I see at night, and the first thing I see every morning," Daniel continued. Jack leaned over the banister so that he could continue to hear what Daniel was saying. Meanwhile, someone started to descend the stairs, and the person accidentally bumped into Jack. Jack lost his balance and spilled over the banister, and he landed on top of the cake. As the crowd gasped and laughed, Jack lifted his head, and he meekly greeted Jennifer.

At the Horton house, Bo and Hope reminisced about Tom and Alice, as they gathered a batch of doughnuts that they had forgotten to take to the party. "They spent their entire adult life loving only each other. It just kinda makes me think of what my life would be like without you in it...or worse yet, if I had lost you for good," Bo said. Hope assured Bo that he would never have to worry about that.

Bo picked up one of Tom and Alice's wedding portraits. "I need you to know that being with you, loving you, is the best thing I have ever done. Being your husband, the father of your children...that is the most important thing to me in this world, and I promise you, in front of these two very important witnesses, that I will never take what we have for granted again. I will never forget how much I love you," Bo said, as he kissed Hope. Later, as Bo and Hope were preparing to take the doughnuts out to their car, Hope noticed a stack of envelopes that had fallen to the floor.

Bo opened one of the envelopes, and he found a bank statement tucked inside. Hope noted that there wasn't a name on the bank statement, but she added that there was a bank account number, as well as a phone number. Bo pointed out that the same amount of money was being deposited into the account every month, and he added that the money was being withdrawn several days later. Hope realized that they were looking at an overseas bank account.

Hope called the number that was listed on the bank statements. Hope told Bo that the bank would not give her a name, and she added that the bank had refused to tell her why the statements were being sent to the Horton house. Hope said that the bank had revealed that the account was a clearinghouse account that had been active for twenty years. Bo pointed out that the timeline suggested that the account had to be Tom and Alice's. Hope wondered why Tom and Alice had kept the account hidden from the rest of the family.

Based on the dates, Hope concluded that the account had belonged to Alice. Hope noted that Bo had a look of concern on his face, and she wondered what he was thinking. Bo reluctantly explained his theory to Hope. "You know I love your grandma, and I know what kind of integral person she is, but if I were to find this in any other circumstance, anyone else's home...an account hidden away for over twenty years, money coming in, going out, same time every month...there's only one conclusion I could draw," Bo said.

Hope said that she was thinking the same thing. "Is it even possible? Is it? Could someone have been blackmailing my grandmother?" Hope wondered.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011
by Mike

At the Horton Town Square, Stefano greeted Kate and E.J., and he wondered what he had missed. "A potato sack race and a pie-eating contest," Kate jokingly stated. Kate said that she was glad that Stefano had been able to make it to the party. "Well, listen, what Horton-Brady shindig is complete without a DiMera?" Stefano asked.

Stefano approached John and Marlena. "I just thought it would be a nice thing to come here and welcome you back home. You...my lovely Queen of the Night. And you -- it's good to see you on both feet, at last," Stefano said, as he addressed Marlena and John. Stefano told John and Marlena to enjoy the party, then he smiled and walked away. After Stefano left, John muttered that Stefano was up to something. Marlena pointed out that Stefano was always up to something, but John was convinced that Stefano's next move was going to be particularly devastating.

Stefano returned to Kate's side, and he inspected Tom and Alice's memorial plaque. E.J. wondered if Stefano was jealous. "Curious, Elvis -- curious, 'cause I wonder if anyone ever gave a thought to erecting a statue to me?" Stefano asked. E.J. joked that the residents of Salem might be more likely to create an effigy of Stefano.

Lexie approached the podium. "On behalf of the Brady and Horton families, thank you all for being here to celebrate the grand opening of this wonderful new town square, in loving memory of -- and made possible by the very generous donation of -- two important, dearly remembered members of the Salem community -- Alice and Tom Horton," Lexie said. Lexie segued seamlessly into a speech about Abe's accomplishments as the mayor of Salem.

As Lexie's speech continued, Stefano proudly noted that Lexie was an excellent public speaker. "Oh, yeah, absolutely -- it's just a shame she decided to put her cart behind an ass, and not a horse," E.J. muttered. Stefano laughed, and he agreed that Abe didn't deserve to have a woman like Lexie standing by his side.

Lexie said that she was extremely proud of Abe. "And it goes beyond pride in the man I love, and pride in the work he does...it's become a rallying cry for me. In saying that...while my own work is very important...well, there are many other skilled doctors in Salem. But there is no one like your mayor, so...I've reduced my work schedule, so that I can work to support him -- my husband, your mayor -- in his bid for another four-year term," Lexie announced.

Stefano was shocked, and Kate noted that Lexie was making a huge sacrifice. Stefano nodded, and he admitted that Lexie was extremely passionate about Abe's campaign. Stefano added that Lexie was in for a rude awakening. E.J. agreed, and he said that Lexie was going to be very upset with him.

John quietly congratulated Abe, and he advised Abe to enjoy the moment. John cryptically added that things could change in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, Rafe received a phone call, and he was shocked when he realized what the call was about. Rafe tried to convince the caller to change their mind.

Lexie introduced Abe, and the crowd started to applaud. Abe paused so that he could hug Lexie, and E.J. seized the opportunity to claim the podium. "Excuse the interruption, citizens of Salem. My name is E.J. DiMera, and I have something to share with you that is of the utmost importance. I have just a few words, before we go back to this lovely gathering...but I felt that it was important, before our mayor formally announces his intention to run for reelection...to say that he will not be running unopposed. I am formally declaring my intent to be the next mayor of Salem," E.J. announced, as Lexie gasped.

Elsewhere, Jennifer was shocked by Jack's messy entrance. Jack excused himself so that he could get cleaned up. When Jack returned, Jennifer wondered why he had returned to Salem. "You have been in the middle of some extended midlife crisis, so what are you doing here? We haven't heard from you in a year. Did you do your walkabout? Was it fun? Did you have a good time? Did you call your children to tell them you weren't dead in a jungle somewhere, or were you gonna post it on your blog?" Jennifer snapped.

Jack asked Daniel to leave so that Jack could talk to his wife. "I am not your wife. We are divorced," Jennifer asserted. Jennifer explained that she had petitioned a judge for an ex parte divorce. "You abandoned your wife and your children. I haven't seen you, or heard from you, since I left for Salem for my grandmother's funeral. The only way that I knew anything about you was from that stupid, insipid blog that you made. Oh, no, wait -- there was that sweet little text you sent me after I had heart surgery, Jack. Thanks for that," Jennifer said.

Jack was shocked, and he begged Jennifer to give him a chance to explain. Jennifer refused to listen to Jack's explanation. "Do you have any idea how much you hurt our children? Do you have any idea how hard it was, every day, to tell them that you still loved them, even though you were acting like a colossal jerk?" Jennifer asked. Jack insisted that he loved his family, but Jennifer countered that Jack only loved himself.

Chad and Abigail approached Jennifer, and Abigail was shocked to see Jack. Jack started to hug Abigail, but she pulled away from him. Abigail rushed off, and Chad followed her. As Chad comforted Abigail, Jack begged Abigail to listen to him. "You know, your timing sucks, Daddy. Did you even care that we were on our own when we needed you the most?" Abigail asked. Jack said that he had tried to get back to his family earlier, and he added that things had been complicated.

"Not one phone call, not one email -- to me, or J.J., or Mom? How could you be so selfish? Do you have any idea how worried sick we've all been about you? You know, you can't just come back here and expect to pick up where you left off," Abigail snapped. Jennifer comforted Abigail, and she said that Jack had done enough damage for one day. Jennifer asked Jack to leave, but Jack refused to do so.

Jennifer stormed off, and Abigail, Daniel, and Chad followed her. Abigail wondered if Jack had said anything to Jennifer about where he had been staying for the past year. Jennifer admitted that she had not given Jack a chance to explain himself. Jennifer added that Abigail didn't have that luxury.

"Listen to me -- he is your father, and he will always be your father, and I know that you don't like him right now, but he loves you very much," Jennifer said. Abigail wasn't convinced, but Chad agreed with Jennifer. "You know I get this...better than most people. But at the end of the day, your mom is right. It doesn't matter what Jack did -- he's always gonna be your dad, and you just -- you kind of have to deal with that. Look, I think what you need is some time, some space, and some air," Chad suggested.

Chad asked Jennifer if it would be all right for him and Abigail to leave the party early. Jennifer nodded, and Chad promised that he would take care of Abigail. After Chad and Abigail left, Daniel wondered if Jennifer wanted to leave, too. Jennifer was reluctant to leave the party, but Daniel convinced her to let him take her home so that she could get some rest. Jack watched as Daniel and Jennifer walked away.

Jack walked over to the bar, and he ordered a few drinks. Meanwhile, Adrienne approached the bar, and she was shocked to see Jack standing there. Adrienne hugged Jack, and she wondered if Jennifer and Abigail had been aware of his plans to return to Salem. Jack dryly stated that he had just decided to drop in. "Typical Jack. How could you do this? Where the hell have you been?" Adrienne asked.

Jack said that it had been a rough day for him, and he asked Adrienne to cut him some slack. Adrienne wondered how Jack had expected Jennifer and Abigail to react. Jack said that he had expected Jennifer and Abigail to listen. Adrienne suggested that Jack could practice his speech on her, and she doubtfully wished him luck. "You tell me where you've been, and you tell me everything. You start at the beginning. You tell me why you left your family -- precious family -- high and dry. What the hell has been going on with you, Jack?" Adrienne asked.

At the Horton house, Daniel said that he would understand if Jennifer needed some time alone. Jennifer nodded, and Daniel reluctantly started to leave. Jennifer stopped Daniel, and she asked him to wait. Jennifer rushed into Daniel's arms, and she tearfully stated that she didn't want him to leave.

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Friday, October 30, 2011
by Mike

At the Horton Town Square, Adrienne learned the truth about Jack's disappearance. As Adrienne fought back her tears, she said that she was glad that Jack was safe. "God, Jack, what you went through...I can't even begin to imagine. This changes everything," Adrienne added.

Adrienne insisted that Jack needed to tell Jennifer and Abigail the whole story. Jack said that he had hurt Jennifer, and he admitted that she wasn't interested in hearing his excuses. Adrienne agreed that Jack had messed up. Adrienne pointed out that if Jack had been honest with his family from the beginning, then they would have welcomed him back with open arms.

Jack wondered if Adrienne was finished with her lecture, and he acknowledged that she was right. "Jennifer and Abigail didn't ask for this. I left, I came back, I promised I'd never do it again, and I broke that promise. I never wanted to hurt them, but that's exactly what happened," Jack admitted. Adrienne said that Jack's problem was that he never stopped to think about the consequences of his actions. Jack agreed, and he said that was his tragic flaw.

Jack admitted that it had been a mistake to return to Salem. Jack started to leave, but Adrienne stopped him. Adrienne pointed out that Jack was running away again, and she wondered if he still loved Jennifer. Jack confirmed that he still loved Jennifer more than anyone else in the world.

"Exactly, so you go to her, and you tell her that. You tell her everything -- you tell her where you've been, and why you haven't been in touch, but most of all, you say you're sorry. You get on your knees, and you beg her forgiveness for not trusting her enough to tell her the truth from the beginning. You owe it to her," Adrienne insisted. Jack hugged Adrienne, and he thanked her for the advice. Jack rushed off to find Jennifer.

At the Horton house, Jennifer struggled to accept the fact that Jack had returned to Salem. Jennifer said that she had petitioned for a divorce because she had been looking for some sort of closure. "And then I saw the way that he reacted, and he was shocked, and he was hurt, and...why do I even care?" Jennifer wondered. Daniel wondered if Jennifer still had feelings for Jack.

"I have anger -- that would be the top of my feelings right now. I feel confused, I feel pain, I feel so protective of Abigail right now...I feel sad for her -- I feel sad that her dad would walk out on her without even a second thought, so yeah, I have so many feelings going on right now that I can't even sort them out, Daniel," Jennifer explained. Daniel wondered if Jennifer still loved Jack. Jennifer admitted that a part of her would always love Jack, but she added that she didn't want to be with Jack.

Jennifer said that she loved Daniel, and that she wanted to spend the rest of her days with him. "I just want my life back! That's what I want. And I just...I want to know why. Why did he do this? Why does he wanna hurt Abigail and me all over again, when we were just learning how to live without him?" Jennifer asked, as Daniel hugged her. Meanwhile, outside, Jack prepared to knock on Jennifer's door.

Back at the Horton Town Square, E.J. continued his speech. "I stand before you today because I believe that Salem has the potential to be the greatest city in America, the greatest country in the world. Now, most of you folks know that I'm not a native of this beautiful land. I come from humble beginnings, a long way from here. But it was in coming to America that I discovered the promise of a unique dream. Many years later, when I was offered the position of CEO of DiMera Enterprises, I accepted the job, motivated by a single, powerful idea -- that I may play a small part in paying this dream forward, in rebuilding Salem," E.J. claimed.

"I have a dream for Salem -- a dream where the richness of this city is measured not in the depths of its pockets, but in the wealth of its community. A dream of a Salem free from the drug dealers, prostitutes, charlatans, and corporate embezzlers that have reduced this city to a shadow of its former self," E.J. added. E.J. concluded his speech, and he stepped away from the podium so that Abe could talk. A swarm of reporters rushed over to talk to E.J., and E.J. seized the opportunity to criticize Abe's performance.

The residents of Salem had mixed reactions to E.J.'s announcement. John, Marlena, Bo, Hope, and Roman rallied around Abe and Lexie. "Don't worry about it, Abe. This clown can campaign till he's an old man. No DiMera's ever gonna run this town," Bo vowed. Elsewhere, Maggie was furious with E.J. for stealing Abe's spotlight. Victor agreed that E.J.'s announcement had been tasteless, but he assured Maggie that Abe's record would speak for itself. Victor told Maggie that he didn't want E.J.'s antics to spoil their evening.

At the bar, Brady and Nicole discussed E.J.'s announcement. "I don't get it. Why would anybody want to be mayor? Bad hours, bad pay, no glory -- all you get is rubber chicken dinners at the Moose Club," Brady dryly stated. Nicole pointed out that Abe loved his job, but Brady added that Abe loved Salem. Brady insisted that E.J. had to have an ulterior motive, and he vowed to find out what E.J. was up to.

Carrie insisted that E.J. would never win the election, and she noted that Sami was going to be furious. Austin received a phone call, and he explained that the SEC had asked for his help with an investigation. Carrie was disappointed, but Austin apologetically explained that it was an urgent matter. Austin added that the SEC was ready to make an arrest. Meanwhile, Rafe called Sami, and he urged her to call him back as soon as possible.

Chad was shocked when he learned that E.J. was campaigning to be the next mayor of Salem. Meanwhile, Abigail told Melanie that Jack had returned to Salem. Abigail explained that Jack had been her hero when she had been younger. Abigail wondered why Jack had abandoned his family, and she admitted that Jennifer had been extremely upset earlier.

Later, Chad wondered if Abigail was feeling overwhelmed by all of the drama. Abigail explained that she had talked to Melanie earlier, and she assured Chad that she would be all right. Abigail added that she was grateful that she had a patient, understanding boyfriend. "Well, if there's one thing I get, it's family complications. It's kind of my specialty," Chad dryly stated.

Stefano and Kate gleefully celebrated E.J.'s announcement. Nicole approached Stefano and Kate's table, and she reminded them that E.J. still needed to win the election. Later, E.J. walked over to Stefano and Kate's table, and Stefano said that he was proud of E.J.

Kate said that E.J.'s speech had been brilliant, and she noted that E.J. had turned Abe's announcement into an afterthought. As Stefano, Kate, and E.J. laughed, Lexie walked over to their table. "How dare you? How dare both of you? How could you do this to Abe? I mean -- to me! To me, E.J.?!" Lexie snapped. E.J. claimed that he had never meant to hurt Lexie.

"Save your rhetoric for the campaign trail, okay? You and I both know this was personal. You humiliated my husband, and to what end? I mean, really? I mean, what's really going on here? What's this really about?" Lexie asked. E.J. wondered if it was really that hard to believe that he was just trying to make the world a better place. Lexie asked if E.J. really wanted her to answer that question. E.J. claimed that he was trying to elevate the status of the DiMera name.

Lexie pointed out that E.J. could have announced his plans on any other day, and she insisted that E.J. had intentionally hijacked Abe's moment. "You handle things like an amoral crook! But you know what? I can't stop you -- I can't stop you from running. But God help me, E.J., if you continue to play dirty...you'll have to answer to me. Do I make myself clear?" Lexie asked. E.J. nodded with indifference, and Lexie stormed off. Stefano chuckled, and Kate wondered if he was just going to let Lexie walk away. "What would you expect me to do? Alexandra is full of fire. She's more of a DiMera than she'll ever admit," Stefano proudly stated.

Later, the reporters asked Nicole about the hostage situation, and they wondered if it was true that E.J. had saved her life. E.J. interrupted and asked the reporters to give Nicole some space. After the reporters left, Nicole warned E.J. that she wasn't going to let him use her for his publicity campaign. E.J. claimed that he had never intended to use Nicole, but she wasn't convinced. E.J. claimed that he had decided to campaign to be the next mayor of Salem so that his kids would be proud of the DiMera name.

Nicole warned E.J. that it would probably take centuries for that to happen. Nicole added that it was impossible for a leopard to change his spots. E.J. agreed, and he explained that the only thing that he was trying to change was his reputation.

Rafe's FBI contact, Tim, arrived at the party. Rafe begged Tim to give him some more time to find Sami. Tim reluctantly agreed to give Rafe a few more minutes, and Rafe frantically tried to call Sami.

Meanwhile, Carrie and Austin apologetically explained that they were going to have to leave the party earlier than they had anticipated. "Yeah, I got an assignment from the SEC that can't be put off. We're investigating, uh, some corporate giant. All signs point to a misallocation of pension funds," Austin explained. Marlena was noticeably affected by Austin's announcement, and she rushed off to find John.

Bo and Hope greeted Maggie, and Hope asked if Maggie happened to know anything about an overseas bank account that Alice had opened. Maggie joked that Alice had used that bank account for all of the piles of cash that she had made from selling doughnuts. Maggie quickly realized that Bo and Hope were serious, and Hope wondered if Alice might have been hiding something. "Alice? Secrets? Never! Your grandmother didn't have any secrets. You know her as well as I do -- the woman was an open book," Maggie insisted.

Brady interrupted, and he said that he needed to borrow Maggie for a moment. After Maggie left, Bo wondered what Hope wanted to do about the bank account. Hope said that she wanted to keep investigating. "As hard as it is to face...I've just got this terrible feeling that Maggie's wrong," Hope admitted.

Brady and Victor escorted Maggie over to a secluded section of the town square. Victor pointed at a section of the wall, and he dimmed the lights. After a brief pause, a message was illuminated on the wall -- "Will You Marry Me?" Maggie started to cry.

"I love you. Some would say that you're not supposed to keep looking for love at my age, but when I'm with you, I feel like a teenager again, and I don't ever want to lose that feeling. Maggie...will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?" Victor asked, as he presented Maggie with a ring. As Bo and Hope watched, Bo admitted that Victor had talked to him about the proposal earlier. Hope nodded, and she said that Victor had talked to her and Jennifer earlier, and that he had asked for their permission to marry Maggie.

Nicole told E.J. that she had never realized that Victor was a romantic. Nicole added that Maggie didn't know what she was getting herself into, and she said that marriage was a fraud. Stefano approached Nicole, and he pointedly stated that Victor's taste had finally improved.

Maggie smiled as she looked at Victor. "It wasn't really necessary, but I loved it. I loved the ring, the lights -- you're a real romantic. Still, you didn't have to try so hard," Maggie tearfully stated, as she held Victor's hands. Before Maggie could continue, Rafe and Tim approached John and Marlena.

"I hate to do this to you -- I really do. John Black, you're under arrest for embezzlement, securities fraud, and misappropriation of pension funds," Rafe said, as the residents of Salem watched in stunned silence.

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