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Monday, February 20, 2012
by Mike

At the DiMera mansion, Nicole was eager to celebrate E.J.'s pending victory, but E.J. was suspicious. E.J. wondered if Nicole had done something to alter the course of the election. Nicole deflected, and she tried to change the subject.

"Wow...what have you done? You're responsible for the biggest election upset since Truman beat Dewey, and yet...you don't want to talk about it. I'm worried," E.J. jokingly stated. Before Nicole could respond, she received a phone call, and she abruptly left the room.

A short time later, Nicole returned, and she announced that E.J. had won the election. E.J. was elated, and he thanked Nicole for her help. E.J. started to call Lexie, but Nicole stopped him. Nicole said that Abe and Lexie's marriage was falling apart. Nicole predicted that Lexie would turn to E.J. for support.

E.J. was skeptical, but Nicole insisted that it was just a matter of time. Nicole added that Lexie's real family would show her how to heal her broken heart. Nicole urged E.J. to go upstairs and work on his acceptance speech. After E.J. left, Nicole sighed heavily.

At the Horton Town Square, Kate pulled away from Ian's kiss, and she slapped him. Kate reminded Ian that she was married. "That's what makes it so exciting -- the fact that it's forbidden," Ian said. Ian kissed Kate again, but Kate immediately pulled away. Ian sighed, and he reminded himself that he needed to resist Kate's advances.

Kate laughed, and she assured Ian that he would not be able to trick her. Kate started to walk away, but Ian grabbed her arm, and he promised that he would never try to manipulate her. Kate wondered if Ian believed that she was a complete fool.

"You always do the same thing -- you think you can just remind me of the past, and I'll bend to your every whim, but I'm not that same woman anymore. I have a lot more self-respect, and a backbone, and I know, when I walk away, that you'll just drop this sly seduction on the next pretty young thing that you see, because that's who you are. I don't want any of that anymore," Kate said, then she turned to leave.

Ian stopped Kate, and he insisted that she was wrong. "Yes, there have been others, but they've all been less than you. For me, it's always been you; it always will be. Letting you go was the greatest mistake of my life," Ian whispered in Kate's ear. Kate laughed, and she admitted that Ian was good, but she added that she was better. Kate assured Ian that she wasn't going to fall for his act again.

Kate noted that the world was filled with naïve women, and she urged Ian to set his sights on one of them. "You know what? I respect your position; I respect this resolve you have to stay true to your marriage. But I also know you can remember how well we fit together, and I'm gonna look forward to seeing just how long your resolve holds out," Ian replied, then he abruptly left the town square.

Later, Kate entered the DiMera mansion, and she called out Stefano's name as she walked into the living room. Kate started to pour a drink, then she noticed an envelope that was propped up against some of the chess pieces on the nearby chess table. Kate opened the envelope with trepidation. "My dearest Katherine, I must leave for a short time. I'll be in touch soon. Love always, Stefano," Kate read aloud.

Meanwhile, in E.J.'s bedroom, E.J. started to open a bottle of champagne. Nicole entered the room, dressed in lingerie, and she wondered if E.J. was ready to perform his first act as mayor. E.J. said that putting Nicole in charge of his campaign had been one of the smartest decisions that he had ever made. E.J. added that letting Nicole back into his life had been an even smarter decision.

Later, while E.J. was sleeping, Nicole crept into the living room. Nicole checked to make sure that no one was around, then she placed a call to someone. "It's me. I didn't tell E.J. what you did, but we both know the truth, and now we need to talk," Nicole quietly stated.

In Madison's hotel room, Madison rummaged through some drawers, and she found her wedding ring. As Madison looked at the ring, Brady knocked on her door. Madison was happy to see Brady, but she wondered why he had decided to visit her. Brady shrugged, and he admitted that he was probably the biggest fool in the world. Madison said that she owned that title, and that she wasn't willing to give it up.

Madison laughed nervously, and she wondered if she had succeeded in breaking the ice. Brady noticed that Madison was holding her wedding ring. Brady said that Madison owed him an explanation, and he asked her to tell him everything.

Madison started to talk about her college years. Madison recalled that she had just started Mad World, and that she had been losing more money than she had been making. Madison explained that she had been giving a sales pitch to a disinterested store manager one day, and that Ian had overheard the conversation.

Madison recalled that Ian had praised her sales pitch, and that he had called the store manager a fool. Brady wondered what had happened next. "He took me to lunch, and then dinner...breakfast. Look, I know how that sounds, but you have to understand -- I was so swept up in it, you know? I was so young, and I'd never experienced anything like that," Madison defensively stated.

"After that, Ian took me under his wing. He insisted on investing in my company, and then Mad World took off, you know? It was solid. It became lucrative, and Ian made that happen for me, so I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the whole world," Madison added. Brady realized that Ian was responsible for Madison's fortune, and he assumed that was why she had married Ian. Madison said that it wasn't that simple.

Madison admitted that she had loved Ian, but she added that the feeling had never been mutual. Brady was skeptical, and he wondered why Madison had agreed to a loveless marriage. Madison explained that there was a difference between loving someone and treating them in a loving manner. Madison added that she had not understood that difference.

"There is a side of Ian McAllister that is nothing but cold and controlling. There were other women -- lots of other women. Look, I was a trophy wife, Brady. I didn't have a say in what happened, or with who, and he didn't make a secret about that, either," Madison explained. Brady wondered if Madison had known any of the other women.

"There was this one woman that he put above all the rest; he couldn't let her go. It was Kate DiMera," Madison said. Madison added that Kate did not seem to know anything about Madison and Ian's marriage. Madison said that Ian had flaunted the affair in her face, and she admitted that it had been humiliating.

Madison recalled that Ian had blamed her for each of his affairs. Brady wondered if that was why Madison had described Ian as a controlling person. Madison defensively insisted that she didn't like to admit that Ian had the power to control her.

"I know you don't like to admit it, but I don't get it, because it's not who you are. That's not Madison; you're not afraid of anyone. You've stood up to me, you've stood up to my grandfather, but every time that son of a bitch comes in the room, you cower. You don't even talk; you let him call the shots," Brady noted. Madison said that things had always been that way.

Brady urged Madison to stand up to Ian, but Madison tearfully admitted that she couldn't do that. "When that man walks through the door, the woman that you know just disappears," Madison said. Brady said that didn't explain why Madison had lied to him.

Madison reminded Brady that she had tried to keep their relationship professional, and that Brady had been extremely persistent. Brady wondered why Madison had chosen to keep lying to him after they had started dating. "I lost control of myself, Brady. Honestly, you became the thing that I couldn't lose. I knew if I told you about Ian, that's exactly what would happen, and I was right, wasn't I?" Madison tearfully asked.

Madison apologized for hurting Brady, and she insisted that her relationship with Ian was over. Madison said that she despised everything about Ian. Brady wondered why Madison was still with Ian, and why she had never tried to get a divorce.

"That's an excellent question, Mr. Black. She certainly has tried...isn't that right, sweetheart? She's tried, and she's failed. She'll fail again, if she tries again. You see, the fact is...I'm never gonna let Madison go. Quite simply, divorce is not an option," Ian said, as he entered the room.

At the Carver house, Lexie wondered where Abe had gone earlier. Abe explained that he had been questioned at the police station. Abe insisted that he was innocent, but he realized that Lexie obviously believed otherwise, because she was packing her things. Abe said that he understood that Lexie was upset. Lexie assured Abe that she was past that point, and she snapped that Abe had completely betrayed her.

Abe wondered if that was why Lexie was trying to sneak out of the house. "Oh, no -- you don't get to go on the offensive here. You don't get to act like you're the injured one here. And no, I wasn't planning on sneaking out, although it might have been better if I had, because I know you. I know what comes next -- you're gonna pull out all the stops, try to convince me to stay, make all sorts of promises to make things better," Lexie predicted.

Lexie noted that she and Abe had been through a lot together, and she admitted that she had been responsible for most of it. Lexie said that she had assumed that they had reached a new level of trust. Abe insisted that they had, but Lexie wasn't convinced. Lexie said that Abe had changed.

"Lexie, do you think I liked putting us in this position? Jeopardizing everything? What was I supposed to do -- just roll over for E.J.? Lexie, sweetheart...I love this town, just like I love us...our family. I would do anything to protect it, and standing idly by...it's not an option," Abe said. Abe claimed that he had made a sacrifice for the greater good.

Lexie assured Abe that Salem would have survived, even if he had lost the election. "No one's gonna believe in you anymore, honey. I mean, that's the real loss here. No matter how much you don't want to admit it, you're not the same person anymore. Honey, you were supposed to be better than this. I mean, the people of this town -- they looked up to you, Abe. They trusted you, and not just them -- your friends, our son...hell, I mean, I looked up to you! Not anymore," Lexie said with a sigh.

Abe promised that he would fix everything. Lexie bitterly noted that Abe sounded like he was campaigning. Abe insisted that he wasn't going to let his mistakes ruin their marriage, but Lexie replied that it was too late. "Do you really think I just decided to leave on a whim? That I'm just reacting out of anger? No, Abe -- you're the one who didn't think this through, okay?! You were so focused on beating E.J. that you became what you were so hell-bent on destroying!" Lexie snapped.

Abe insisted that he had not rigged the election, and he begged Lexie to believe him. Abe reiterated that he was sorry, but Lexie wasn't convinced. "Underneath all of your moral posturing, you are just like them. It makes me sick," Lexie disgustedly stated.

Lexie finished packing, and she noted with disbelief that everything had changed in a matter of hours. Lexie vaguely stated that she was going to take Theo somewhere, but she didn't give Abe any specific details. Abe begged Lexie to reconsider, but Lexie insisted that she had made up her mind.

"You know, if anybody has to go...it should be me. I -- I don't want to disrupt Theo's routine, and he's not gonna understand, so...I'll go, unless you tell me to stay," Abe quietly stated, as he struggled to contain his emotions. Abe waited for Lexie to respond, but she remained silent.

Abe nodded sadly, then he turned to leave. After Abe left, Lexie started to sob.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

At the Horton house, Jennifer irritably chewed out a reporter on the phone for apparently believing that the accusations against Abe were true. Jack arrived just as Jennifer hung up, and startled her so badly that she let out a shriek. Jennifer explained that her foul mood was because she had been dealing with reporters and doing damage control since dawn. Jack cautiously stated that he had something more important to talk to her about than the mayoral election. Abigail entered, and Jack clarified that the three of them needed to talk about something.

Happy to put her daughter first, Jennifer let her calls go to voicemail so they could talk. Abigail explained that she and Melanie had made up, so the two of them could look out for each other while they modeled for Mad World. Jennifer flipped out, and reiterated how much she hated the idea. Abigail became defensive, so Jack stepped in to mediate the discussion. He asked thoughtful questions so each woman could express her viewpoint.

Jennifer stated that she felt modeling put too much pressure on women to be perfect, plus she wanted Abigail to fully enjoy and appreciate the experience of college. Abigail calmly countered that Jennifer had worked as a writer while in college, and while she understood that her mom only wanted to protect her, Jennifer had to trust Abigail to make her own decisions.

Jennifer expressed her amazement that her little girl had grown up to be such a level-headed young woman, and agreed to allow Abigail to model -- but only if she promised to call Jennifer if she ever needed help. Abigail hugged her parents gratefully, and the three agreed to have dinner later.

After Abigail left for class, Jennifer expressed her gratitude and appreciation for what Jack had done. "You really have changed," a pleased Jennifer asserted, and then emphasized, "You've become the man I always knew you could be, Jack." Jack maintained that he was still the same selfish jerk he'd always been. Jennifer admitted, "Yeah, you're still you, but the old Jack wouldn't have charged in here like you did today." She added that she and Abigail might have fought for weeks without his help, and for the first time, Jennifer had felt as if she were part of a team.

"It doesn't matter how many years of ups and downs it took for us to get here; I wouldn't change anything," she declared. Jack had a hard time accepting Jennifer's praise. Jennifer asserted that Jack had remained strong despite the lack of support he'd gotten from her after he'd returned from Afghanistan, but the effort that he had made for her and their children had made her realize how much he meant to her. "I love you," Jennifer declared. Jack began that the previous few months had helped him to see their relationship, and his role as a father, in a whole new way, and he wanted to be better.

Jennifer maintained that he was perfect -- and she wanted him back, and she wanted them to be a family again. When she threw her arms around him, Jack didn't react the way she expected, so she pulled away, confused. Jack admitted that he didn't know what to say. "I thought you felt the same way. I thought you wanted the same thing," Jennifer said quizzically. Jack explained that he'd finally begun to recognize the patterns in their relationship: "Every time you open your heart to me, and every time I turn around and I break it -- without question, without fail."

Jennifer insisted, "But I know that this time you wouldn't hurt me." Jack replied adamantly, "I wouldn't want to, but I will. I am through being selfish! I'm not going to put you through this again." Jennifer argued that she should get to have a say, but Jack maintained that it was better if they were separated. "I'm not doing this because I don't love you. I'm doing this because I do," Jack declared sadly. He picked up his coat to leave, but then grabbed Jennifer and kissed her fervently, desperately, before pulling away and rushing out the door.

Austin returned from a jog to the hotel room he shared with Carrie, and found his frazzled wife on the phone, trying to help long distance with John and Hope's divorce in Alamainia. Austin pointed out that Carrie seemed to be burying herself in her work to avoid dealing with their problems -- again. Carrie reminded him that John, Marlena, Bo, and Hope were family who needed her. Austin emphasized that he needed her, too, and it was going to take both of them to fix their marriage. Carrie assured him that was what she intended to do.

Austin repeated his suggestion that they should move back to Zurich, but Carrie asserted that she wanted to stay in Salem near their family and friends. She added that they could not run away from their problems, and she wanted to work on their marriage and on building their life together. Austin replied that he only wanted to be wherever Carrie was, as long as they were together. He asked Carrie to promise to go away with him for a romantic weekend, like they'd discussed, and she agreed, so he declared that he would plan the destination as a surprise for her.

Austin was in his office later when Abigail arrived, and he thanked her for getting there so quickly. He began by saying that they were both adults, and so he wasn't going to sugarcoat the truth: that what had happened between them had been a mistake, and that he deeply regretted taking advantage of her. Austin continued that although Abigail was a wonderful girl, he loved his wife. He apologized if he had not been clear before, but stressed that there could never be anything between him and Abigail.

Austin vowed to make the remainder of Abigail's work-study assignment as easy as possible for her by scheduling her to work during times that he would not be there. "And next semester, I promise you, I will find you any job on campus that you want," Austin assured her. Devastated, Abigail demanded softly, "What will you tell them? That I'm a hard-working, smart, eager, young student, or will you just tell them that I'm an easy lay?" She accused Austin of allowing her to believe that his marriage was over just to get into her pants. Austin insisted that wasn't true, but Abigail refused to believe anything he said -- or had ever said.

Abigail grabbed her things and began to storm out, but Austin grabbed her by the arm. Whirling around to face him, she jerked her arm away, and ordered, "Don't touch me!" Abigail warned Austin that she hoped he hadn't broken her heart for no reason, and explained that if he really wanted to save his marriage, he couldn't keep secrets from Carrie -- and that meant he had to tell her about his affair with Abigail. "The affair? What are you talking about, Abigail? It was one night! I was drunk!" Austin argued helplessly. "So then that makes it right, Austin?" Abigail retorted. Austin agreed that it didn't. "Good. Then we'll tell Carrie today," Abigail declared.

When Marlena dropped by the loft, Sami reluctantly let her mother in. Just as Marlena was explaining that the reason for her visit was to talk to Sami, Rafe let himself in. He apologized for not calling first, but said that he'd hoped Sami would let him take the kids to school. Sami informed him that they had already left, so Rafe promised to do it the next morning. Rafe offered Marlena whatever help he could give with the situation in Alamainia, and then started to head back out. Marlena urged him to stay so that he and Sami could talk.

Riled, Sami accused Marlena of meddling, and refused her mother's offer of help. Marlena asserted that Sami had never seemed as happy as she had with Rafe, and she knew that Rafe and Sami loved one another -- but they could never fix whatever was wrong if they didn't talk. Sami ordered Marlena to leave, but Marlena refused. Rafe gently urged the women not to fight. He thanked Marlena, but accepted the blame for what had happened between him and Sami, and promised not to stop trying to make things right. He left after assuring Sami that he would call before picking up the kids the next morning.

A little later, Carrie was surprised when she went to the office and found Rafe packing some of his things. He hastily buttoned his shirt, offering a one-word explanation: "Heater." Carrie offered to return later, when he was finished, but Rafe asked her to stay. He pointed out that although they couldn't change the past, they could certainly resist the urge to kiss again. Carrie conceded that she did have a lot of work to do, and asked where Rafe had been working. He confessed that he'd been using the library.

Carrie reminded Rafe that he, too, had paid rent on the office, so he shouldn't have to work at the library. Rafe concurred. Carrie and Rafe discussed the situation with John and Hope's divorce, and Rafe offered to call an FBI contact in Washington to try to pull some strings. Carrie was happy for any help Rafe might be able to provide. After phoning his friend, Rafe hung up and reluctantly told Carrie that he'd had no luck -- but he wasn't going to give up.

Rafe then indicated that he had to go. "Sick of me?" Carrie asked. "No, not at all. Quite the opposite," Rafe replied uncomfortably. He noted that sharing an office might not be a very good idea, after all, because Sami and Austin would probably get the wrong idea. Carrie conceded that Rafe was right, and suggested that they arrange their schedules so that they didn't use the office at the same time. "Maybe," said Rafe. He added that he would pick up his things later, and then left.

With a resigned sigh, Sami turned to Marlena, and dared her, "Let's just get it over with. Go ahead: say that it's my fault that my marriage is falling apart." Marlena pointed out that she hadn't said that. Defensively noting that Rafe had kissed Carrie, Sami demanded to know how that could have been her fault. Marlena replied that she didn't really want to get into it. Sami contended that Marlena had shown up there wanting to talk, so the two of them were going to have it out right then and there.

Marlena noted calmly, and more than a little smugly, "You don't want to talk, Sami. You want to take it out on somebody, and that would be me." Sami hotly demanded to know why Marlena always made Sami out to be the bad guy. Marlena stated that if Sami were honest, she would admit that was the case most of the time. "If that's true, Mommy Dearest, I learned it from the best. You taught me firsthand how to tear a marriage apart," Sami spat. She reminded Marlena that after cheating on Roman, Marlena had walked out on her marriage -- and the rest of her family -- and had never had to face what she'd done.

"I've faced my demons... What about you?" Marlena asked. "I'm looking at them," Sami replied defiantly. Marlena countered that Sami would have to look in the mirror to face her demons, and then declared firmly, "I will no longer let what happened between John and me be an excuse for your selfish, thoughtless, irresponsible behavior. It's about time you grew up." Sami took offense, but tried not to let Marlena rattle her. Marlena lectured Sami about taking responsibility for her own actions, and pointed out that Rafe loved Sami's children -- and they loved him. "If you hurt him, you'll be hurting them, too," Marlena cautioned.

Sami demanded to know how she was supposed to forget that Rafe had feelings for Carrie, and accused Marlena of never taking her side. Marlena insisted that she wasn't taking sides, and then, narrowing her gaze, pointedly advised Sami, "I'd like you to take a long, hard look at yourself, and then tell me if you like what you see." Sami accused her mother of hypocrisy. Marlena maintained that if she could take back what had happened and all the pain she'd caused Sami, she would do it in a heartbeat. Marlena continued that Sami's past pain did not give her the right to hurt the people who loved her, especially Rafe.

"He made a mistake. He regrets it. And he loves you more than the world. But you are so filled with self-pity and rage, you can't see the best thing that ever happened to you is about to walk out that door," Marlena warned. Sami argued that Marlena had let Roman walk out the door. Marlena replied sharply, "My darling girl, every mistake that I've made in my life are the same mistakes you are making right now." Sami vehemently contended that she was nothing like Marlena.

Marlena pointed out, "Look what you're doing to Will. Don't you see it? What Will is going through right now -- don't you recognize it? The rage, the rebellion, the lies? It's exactly what you went through, and if you weren't so selfish, you'd see that for yourself." Sami demanded warily, "You know something, don't you?" Marlena maintained that what she knew didn't matter; all that mattered was for Sami to fix it -- but she refused to say more. Suspicious and incredulous, Sami ordered, "No, you don't get to just bring it up and then not finish it. You tell me what you know, and you tell me right now!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brady barged into the living room at the Kiriakis mansion, interrupting a conversation between Maggie and Victor, and demanded to know what they were going to do about Ian McAllister. Brady blamed himself for the situation, since he had resigned as CEO at Titan, and that had forced Victor to hire someone else. Victor insisted that he had vetted Ian himself, and he had found no connection between Ian and Madison.

Ian entered just then, and reminded them all that he was Madison's husband. Ian presented Maggie a tin of shortbread from Scotland, and she thanked him graciously. Victor warned Maggie not to eat them, since Ian had likely poisoned them. Ian calmly denied it, maintaining that his only intent was to run Titan successfully. He added that he was in it for the long haul, because the woman he loved lived in Salem.

Brady noted that Ian had withheld vital information when he'd been hired, because Ian had known that Titan owned his wife's company. Ian maintained that his marriage to Madison was irrelevant -- and Madison was the one who'd been less than forthcoming. Brady accused Ian of throwing his wife under the bus, but Ian countered that Brady was only upset because he'd lost Madison -- who had never really been Brady's to lose.

Ian then produced a tablet computer to show Victor his new business plan for Titan. After reviewing it, Victor admitted that the plan was good, but he had to make sure it would hold up before making any sort of commitment. Ian said his goodbyes, and strolled confidently out.

Maggie asked if Brady had talked to Madison about Ian. Brady said that he had, but he still didn't understand the situation. Victor and Maggie expressed their sympathy for what Madison had put Brady through. Brady said that he still couldn't believe that Madison would let things go as far as they had when she was already married. Maggie declared that it was obvious from the way Madison looked at Brady that he, not Ian, was the man in her heart.

After Brady had gone, Victor emptied the shortbreads into the wastebasket. Maggie busied herself with clearing away the tea service, and Victor accused her of doing so to avoid talking to him. Maggie pointed out that Victor had hurt her feelings by essentially blaming her for the situation with Ian. Victor admitted that it never would have happened before they'd gotten married -- but clarified that his life was full because of her, the love of his life.

"If sometimes things don't get the attention that they deserve, then so be it. If hiring Ian turns out to be a disaster, it's just business," Victor concluded. He declared that if he could marry Maggie a thousand times, he would. Moved, Maggie kissed him forgivingly. She then stated that she hoped for Victor's sake that things worked out for him and Ian. "I know I don't know as much as you, but Ian's business plan for Titan -- it does seem amazing," Maggie asserted. "Yes, it does seem that way," Victor admitted.

At Intensity Spa, Quinn expressed his enthusiasm to Madison about the new partnership between Intensity and Mad World. Kate arrived just then, and was livid to see that Mad World products had replaced Countess Wilhelmina's on Quinn's shelves. Quinn explained that Mad World had promised to expand his spa business internationally. Kate reminded Quinn that they'd had an agreement, but he pointed out that they had never put anything in writing -- and Madison could offer him much more.

After apologizing to Kate, Quinn returned to work behind the front desk. Kate accused Madison, "You did this to get back at me." Madison wondered why Kate would think that, and Kate suspected that Madison wanted retribution for something personal. Without actually denying it, Madison deflected Kate's accusation.

Ian arrived, and even Quinn noticed that the tension level in the room rose. Kate said that she was surprised to see Ian there. Ian explained that he'd just dropped by to say hello to his lovely wife, and kissed Madison on the cheek. "Madison is your wife?" Kate asked incredulously, while Quinn steeled himself for the fireworks. Kate deduced that Madison had singled out Kate's company because she'd known about Kate's relationship with Ian. Madison pointed out, "What you had with Ian would be considered an affair, since we were married at the time."

Kate asserted that she and Ian had been in love, and she hadn't known that Ian had been married -- but as his equal, she was a much better match for Ian than Madison was. Madison pointed out that Mad World had beaten Countess Wilhelmina at every turn. She wondered how Stefano had reacted when Kate had told him that one of her ex-lovers was in town. Kate countered that Madison hadn't been able to satisfy Brady or Ian. After the two exchanged a few more catty barbs, Kate warned Madison, "If I were you, I would stop letting my need for revenge fuel my business deals... If you continue to make this personal, there will be war. You will lose."

Once Kate had gone, Ian asked how Madison had known that he'd already seen Kate. "Maybe you were too good a teacher. Maybe I was a better student than you ever gave me credit for," Madison asserted, and then stalked out.

Brady was outside when Madison exited the spa. Each seemed to sense the other's presence, and both looked up at the same time. They stared across the square at one another for a long moment.

In Austin's office, Abigail announced to Austin that they would tell Carrie about their affair that very day. Austin insisted that what had happened between him and Abigail had to stay between them. Carrie arrived just in time to overhear Austin, and demanded to know what they were talking about. Abigail seemed poised to tell Carrie everything, but Austin quickly covered that he had merely asked for Abigail's advice for where to take Carrie for their romantic getaway.

Carrie thanked Abigail for her help, and then asked how Abigail was holding up after what she'd just been through. Abigail said that although the guy sounded like a jerk, he really just had commitment issues, and truth and honesty were very important to him. She added, "Isn't that the most important thing in any relationship? Austin was just saying he felt the same way." Austin and Carrie then had to leave, so Abigail thanked Carrie for listening. Carrie promised to be there if Abigail needed to talk again.

Quinn bumped into Abigail in Horton Square a little later, and congratulated her on mending fences with Melanie. Abigail admitted that she was excited about modeling with Melanie for Mad World. Quinn detected a bit of sadness behind Abigail's enthusiasm, and guessed that it was "guy troubles." Across the square, Austin and Carrie took a break from shopping near the fire pit. Seeing that Austin had noticed her sitting with Quinn, Abigail took Quinn's hand. "You're so sweet to care," Abigail said, beaming flirtatiously at Quinn.

While Carrie excitedly looked at the snorkeling gear and other warm-weather paraphernalia in the shopping bags, Quinn informed Abigail that Mad World was helping turn Intensity into a multinational company. He added that he hoped he could convince Taylor to join him on the journey.

Austin and Carrie then parted to finish shopping for their trip, as Abigail hugged Quinn goodbye and wished him luck with Taylor. Austin sternly approached Abigail and demanded, "You're flirting with Quinn?" He warned her that Quinn was bad news, but Abigail pointed out that he had no right to tell her what to do because he was back with Carrie. "I can date whoever I want -- and I plan on it," Abigail declared.

At the loft, Sami ordered Marlena to divulge what she knew about Will or get out. Before their discussion could progress any further, Will arrived. Marlena explained that she and Sami would like to continue their discussion in private, but Sami suggested that Marlena should leave. Smirking, Will asked, "Why? Are you afraid that I'm going to tell Grandma about your poor decision-making? Well, it's too late; she knows. I told her that you had sex with E.J."

Sami accused Will of running straight to Marlena and relishing it when he'd told her. Marlena maintained that Will had only confided in her because he'd been so devastated and angry. "You've got to be loving this. After all those years I gave you grief for cheating on Daddy, and now it's your turn to rub it in my face," Sami noted. Marlena insisted firmly that it did not make her happy to see her family in pain, because she knew how it felt.

Sami began shouting that Marlena did not know how Sami felt, but Marlena quietly asserted that the person Sami was truly angry with was herself. Sami argued that what she had done was nothing like Marlena's affair with John; Sami had been grief-stricken when she'd slept with E.J. because she'd thought her son was dead. Will got in a couple of snide comments before Marlena silenced him. Marlena pointed out that Sami had to understand the pain that Will was feeling.

Offended, Sami replied, "Because I'm such a bad mother? Really? Look who's talking!" Marlena denied having said any such thing, but the three of them had to find a way to fix the problem before it hurt anyone else in Sami's family. "Sami, I am not your enemy; I am your mother. Let me help you!" Marlena pleaded.

Sami tearfully reiterated that she had never intended to have sex with E.J.; she had been so upset that she still had no idea how they'd ended up together. Marlena explained that Sami had been trying to block out an incomprehensible grief in any way possible. "Exactly," Sami agreed in a whisper. She added that when she'd realized afterwards what she'd done, she had hated herself for it -- and she still did. Sami assured Will, "I would never have put someone through the pain that I went through." She added that although she knew an apology would never be enough, she was truly sorry for what she'd done, and she would do anything to fix it, but she did not know how

Marlena reassured Sami that she was not alone. Sami finally put her arms around Marlena and broke down in anguished sobs. Marlena promised that they would figure out a way to get through it together, but Sami was at a loss as to how. "I know that you want to make it right -- with Will, with Rafe, and with yourself... Honey, you've got to tell Rafe about what happened with E.J.," Marlena advised.

Sami flipped out, because she was sure that Rafe would divorce her if he found out. She refused, pointing out that the three of them were the only ones who knew. Marlena reminded Sami that E.J. knew, and if things didn't work out between him and Nicole, he might use the secret against Sami. Will pleaded with his mom, "I didn't want to tell Rafe because I didn't want to break up the family. But you did that already when you kicked him out. So can you do something?" Marlena believed that Rafe would forgive Sami -- and besides, secrets always managed to get out.

Sami didn't think Rafe would ever forgive her; instead, he would use it as an excuse to leave her to be with Carrie. Marlena and Will both gently urged Sami to reconsider and let them help. Sami vowed that she would sort out "the Carrie thing" with Rafe, and ask him to move home, then she would never have to tell him about E.J. -- as long as Marlena and Will promised never to tell Rafe. Marlena warned that the secret was a time bomb, and the only way for Sami to defuse it was to tell Rafe. Sami insisted that she was trying to protect Rafe, but Will argued that Sami was only trying to protect herself, as usual.

"I learned the hard way that I have to look out for myself, because certainly no one else will!" Sami contended. Marlena apologized that she hadn't been there for Sami as often as she should have been. Sami maintained that her selfishness stemmed from having a mother who thought only about herself. "That's so funny. I know exactly how that feels," Will declared, blinking back tears.

Thursday, February 23, 2012
by Mike

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. surprised Nicole with a candlelit dinner, and he said that it was time to celebrate. Nicole was confused for a moment, then she remembered that she and E.J. had gotten married one year earlier.

Nicole apologized for forgetting about the milestone. E.J. assured Nicole that he wasn't offended, and he admitted that it had been a strange year. E.J. opened a bottle of champagne, and he and Nicole started to reminisce.

At Sami and Rafe's apartment, Will hugged Marlena, then he abruptly excused himself so that he could meet Sonny at the Brady Pub. After Will left, Sami shook her head, and she muttered that everything was starting to make sense.

"Will came and told you what I had done, and you knew you had your chance...to make sure that he hated me, that he would never forgive me for what I had done...so that you could be a mother to him, like you never were to me," Sami theorized. Marlena insisted that she just wanted Sami to be happy. Marlena wondered if Sami wanted to save her marriage, and Sami confirmed that she did.

Marlena reiterated that Sami needed to tell Rafe the truth. Sami sighed impatiently, and she asked Marlena to leave. "This isn't about me, Sami. I'm hoping you can put your anger for me aside long enough to listen to what I'm telling you, because I know how this works. This kind of secret can destroy even the strongest of relationships," Marlena cautioned, then she exited the apartment.

At John and Marlena's townhouse, Bo struggled to accept the fact that he wasn't going to be able to accompany Hope to Alamainia. Bo admitted that he felt like one of Stefano's chess pieces. Hope wished that she had been able to figure out what Alice had learned about Stefano, so that she could use that information to neutralize him.

Bo entertained the idea of breaking into the DiMera mansion to look for Alice's envelope, but John pointed out that the envelope was probably locked away somewhere. Hope wondered if Stefano had opened the envelope yet. "If he has, I hope it's causing him as much hell as he's causing us," Bo said.

Marlena entered the townhouse, and she wondered why Stefano was determined to keep her and Bo away from Alamainia. Bo theorized that Stefano wanted Marlena and Bo to be suspicious of John and Hope. Marlena wasn't convinced, and she insisted that Stefano was smarter than that. Hope agreed, and she suggested that Stefano had to have some other plan in mind.

"I have a bad feeling that once Hope and I get to Alamainia, we're gonna be walking straight into a trap," John said. Bo and Marlena were worried about John and Hope, but John pointed out that Hope was a cop, and that he had been a cop in the past. "Okay, you can take care of yourself, but you're walking into a country that has underground bunkers. They have earthquakes, coups of state," Bo said.

Hope assured Bo that she and John would be fine. "We've all been up against Stefano before, and in the end, we've always won," Hope added. Meanwhile, John checked his laptop, and he found a flight to Alamainia that was scheduled to depart later that night.

Marlena was worried about the trip, but John promised that he would be back as soon as possible. "And then you and I are gonna celebrate by planning the most romantic wedding we have ever had...and we've had quite a few, so that's really saying something," John added. Marlena laughed, and she told John to be careful.

Hope admitted that it wasn't going to be easy to leave Ciara again, but she added that she was only going to be gone for two weeks. Bo wasn't comfortable with the plan, and he pointed out that he knew Alamainia better than John and Hope did. Bo said that he didn't have any good memories of Alamainia, and he recalled that Alice had almost died there.

Hope promised that she would be careful. Hope said that nothing could ever truly separate her and Bo, because he would always be in her heart. Hope added that she had faith that she and Bo would always find their way back to each other. Hope hugged Bo, and she tried to hide the look of concern on her face. Later, John and Hope exited the townhouse. Hope admitted that the trip wasn't going to be easy, and John agreed.

At the Brady Pub, Will sighed as he realized that he was behind in all of his classes. "Well, that's what happens when you're a slacker student by day, and a hotshot political operative by night," Sonny jokingly stated, and he promised to help. Will admitted that he wasn't really worried about his classes, and he explained that he was dealing with some family drama.

Sonny wondered what was going on. Will laughed nervously, and he explained that he couldn't talk about it, because it would hurt his family. Sonny could tell that Will really wanted to tell someone the truth. Will nodded, and he said that he was tired of keeping the secret. Sonny said that he understood, and he urged Will to tell him what was going on.

Will said that he trusted Sonny, but he reiterated that he couldn't tell anyone the truth, because it would tear his family apart. "Maybe you're wrong. Maybe it'll bring your family closer together. You know, that's what happened when I told my family I was gay. You know, I didn't have to hide anything from them anymore. It's the best thing I ever did -- well, besides meeting Madonna in Dubai, but that's another story," Sonny said.

Will insisted that wasn't going to happen in his case, but Sonny wasn't convinced. Sonny said that he had expected Victor to disown him after he had revealed that he was gay. Sonny added that telling Victor the truth had actually made their relationship stronger, because he had given Victor the chance to get to know the real Sonny. Sonny suggested that Will's family would probably be just as supportive.

"Hey...I'm sorry, but you have the completely wrong idea. Sonny, the secret's not about me -- it's about my mom," Will clarified. Sonny noted that the secret was obviously bothering Will. "It's just proven to me, once and for all, that she only cares about herself. She's not a good mother to me, you know? She's selfish. She's a bitch," Will said.

Sonny urged Will not to turn his back on Sami, and he suggested that Sami's actions probably weren't as bad as they seemed. Will wondered if Sonny would feel the same way if he knew that Sami had betrayed her entire family. Sonny could tell that Will was desperate to confide in someone, and he promised that he wouldn't tell anyone about Will's secret.

Will nodded, and he started to tell Sonny about the night that Johnny had gone missing. Meanwhile, Rafe entered the pub, and he noticed that Will and Sonny seemed to be having a serious conversation. Rafe didn't want to interrupt them, so he took a seat at the nearby bar.

"Anyway, the whole time that was going down, we couldn't find my mom anywhere -- I mean anywhere -- and I was looking for her, to tell her the good news, and I ended up at the DiMera mansion. Well, I, um -- I caught my mom, uh...cheating on Rafe. She was having sex with E.J. DiMera," Will told Sonny, unaware that Rafe was listening.

Sonny said that he was sorry that Will had been forced to carry that secret around for months. Will replied that he was sorry that he hadn't been very fun to be around lately. Sonny jokingly agreed, and he suggested that he and Will needed to have some fun.

Sonny added that a club had recently opened at the Horton Town Square. Sonny said that some of his friends were going to be at the club that night, and he suggested that he and Will could join them. Will eagerly agreed, and he said that he wanted to have some fun, and that he wanted to forget about his mother. Will jokingly added that he wanted to drink.

At Sami and Rafe's apartment, Rafe started to pound loudly on the door. "How could you do it? How could you sleep with E.J.?" Rafe asked, as Sami opened the door. Sami wondered what Rafe was talking about. Rafe entered the apartment, and he warned Sami not to lie to him. Sami wanted to know who had told Rafe the truth, but Rafe told her not to change the subject.

"Why, of all people, him? After everything that he has done to us -- done to you? Oh, my God, how could you let him touch you? Are you still in love with him?" Rafe wondered. Sami insisted that she didn't love E.J., and that he completely disgusted her. Sami explained that she had believed that Johnny had died, and that she had needed to escape that harsh reality.

Rafe wondered why Sami had not gone to him. Sami claimed that she hadn't been thinking. "No, you know what? I think you were thinking. You were, because you blamed me for Johnny's disappearance, and you felt like I forced you to go to the pub to see John, and put Johnny in harm's way, so you did this -- you did this to pay me back, didn't you?" Rafe asked.

Sami insisted that Rafe was wrong. Sami explained that she had been fighting with E.J. that night, and that he had called her a terrible mother. Sami admitted that she was a terrible mother, and that she was self-destructive. "Yeah, well, the problem is...you didn't just destroy yourself; you destroyed us. You destroyed this entire family," Rafe replied.

Rafe said that he understood why Sami had been eager to renew her wedding vows. Rafe noted that Sami's vows had meant nothing to her. Sami admitted that she had been worried that Rafe would look at her differently after he learned the truth. Rafe confirmed Sami's suspicion, and he said that he couldn't stand the sight of her.

"You know, all this time, I've been beating myself up over this strange distance between us. I thought maybe I was failing you as a husband, and that I'd done something wrong, and I kept begging you to talk to me, and open up to me, and be honest with me. And every time, you just -- you just lied right to my face. You know...the scariest part about the whole thing? You're so good at it. All those years of practice, I guess," Rafe quietly stated.

Sami said that she had hated lying to Rafe. Rafe wasn't convinced, and he said that he would never believe Sami again. Sami defensively pointed out that Rafe wasn't blameless, and she recalled that Rafe had kissed Carrie. "Are you serious right now? You've gotta be kidding me. You're gonna compare what I did to what you did? You had sex with a man who continuously tried to destroy our lives! Then, on top of it all, you kicked me out of here," Rafe snapped.

Sami conceded that she and Rafe had each made some mistakes, but she insisted that they could work through their problems together. Rafe agreed that he and Sami might have been able to do that, if she had told him the truth from the beginning. Rafe added that Sami had turned their marriage into a joke, and that it was unforgivable.

Sami insisted that Rafe didn't mean that, and that he was just upset. Rafe grabbed a family photograph, and he showed it to Sami. Rafe said that Sami had destroyed the family in that photograph. Sami apologized, and Rafe sighed as he stated that he needed to get some air. Sami said that she loved Rafe. "No, you're not capable of real love. I know that now," Rafe said, as he exited the apartment.

At the DiMera mansion, Nicole announced that she wanted to give E.J. a gift. "In honor of our anniversary, I am going to go upstairs, and I am going to rip up those divorce papers that I made you sign months ago," Nicole said. E.J. said that he wanted to give Nicole a gift first, and he abruptly excused himself.

A short time later, E.J. returned. E.J. dropped to one knee, and he presented Nicole with a ring. Nicole reminded E.J. that they were already married. "I want us to start over. I thought a new ring could be a fresh start. Not exactly what one thinks of when they imagine a white knight sweeping you off your feet, but...if you would allow me, I'd love to try. I just want you to feel safe and loved. I just want to start over. What do you say?" E.J. asked.

At Sami and Rafe's apartment, Sami tried to call E.J., but she wasn't able to reach him. Sami grabbed her purse, and she tearfully exited the apartment. Meanwhile, back at the DiMera mansion, Nicole accepted E.J.'s proposal. E.J. slipped the ring on Nicole's finger, and they declared their love for each other. Outside, Rafe stormed up to the mansion, and he started to pound on the front door.

At the Horton Town Square, Sonny, Will, and two of Sonny's friends watched as some guys played beer pong nearby. One of the beer pong players noticed Will, and he walked over and introduced himself as Neil. Neil asked Will to be his beer pong partner, and Will eagerly agreed. Sonny stopped Will, and he pointed out that Will wasn't twenty-one yet. Will assured Sonny that he would be fine.

Later, Will rejoined the group. "Oh, my gosh. You are now in the company of the winner of, like -- like six games of beer pong," Will announced, slurring his words slightly. Sonny suggested that Will might want to take a short break. Will excused himself so that he could splash some water on his face.

Will stumbled over to one of the town square's stone archways, and he leaned against the side of the archway to regain his balance. Neil approached Will, and he wondered if Will was all right. Will replied that he was just enjoying the taste of victory.

Neil put his hand on Will's shoulder to steady him, and he wondered if Will needed anything. Will shook his head, then he paused as he and Neil stared at each other. Will started to say that he needed to leave, then he stopped himself, and he grabbed Neil and passionately kissed him. Neil pushed Will up against the side of the archway, and they continued to kiss.

Meanwhile, Sonny approached the archway, and he quietly observed Will and Neil's intimate moment.

Friday, February 24, 2012

In the DiMera living room, Nicole gleefully accepted E.J.'s marriage proposal. As E.J. placed the ring on Nicole's finger, he promised, "We're going to get it right this time." Outside the mansion, Rafe angrily banged on the front door. As E.J. wondered aloud who was at the door, Sami attempted to intervene on the front porch and begged Rafe not to talk to E.J. Unfazed, Rafe marched around to the back of the house.

In the living room, Nicole purred that the person at the door was likely a reporter. As Nicole kissed E.J., Rafe stormed in through the French doors from the back yard. "You son of a bitch," Rafe muttered as rushed over to E.J. As Rafe began to punch E.J., Nicole and Sami begged Rafe for mercy. When Rafe continued to attack E.J., Sami and Nicole pulled the two men apart.

Rafe threatened to kill E.J., and Nicole started to call the police. As comprehension dawned on E.J.'s face, he quietly ordered Nicole to put the phone down. When Nicole asked what had happened, Rafe announced that E.J. had had sex with Sami. Confused, Nicole asked Rafe to repeat what he'd said. "When?" Nicole asked hollowly. When Rafe remained silent, Nicole asked E.J. whether the accusation was a joke. Fighting tears, Nicole asked E.J. whether he had slept with Sami during his marriage to Nicole.

When E.J. softly said Nicole's name, a choked sob escaped her. "You cheated on me. Again. I can't believe it," Nicole said. E.J. asked to explain, but Nicole slapped him and yelled that he would not get the chance to explain what had happened. Nicole turned to Rafe and asked him when E.J. and Sami had had sex. Rafe explained that the affair had happened when Johnny was missing after the police had found the body of a boy. Sami interrupted to explain that the news had announced that the body the police had found was Johnny.

When Sami noted that she had been devastated, Rafe sarcastically joked that Sami's instinct to cheat with a man she hated was totally reasonable in the situation. E.J. interjected that the sex had meant nothing and had been a mistake. "No, E.J. You and me, we were a mistake. Ever trusting you again, ever thinking you would ever change was a mistake," Nicole said calmly. When E.J. apologized and told Nicole he loved her, Nicole lashed out and warned E.J. that he was not allowed to say that to her again.

When Sami told Rafe they should leave, Nicole turned her ire on Sami and ordered her to stay. Sami agreed that Nicole had a right to be angry over what had happened. As Nicole seethed, E.J. reminded Nicole that they had believed their son had been dead at the time. "We were broken. We were just looking for something, anything to take that pain away," E.J. said softly. Sami noted that it had felt like the night she had lost Grace.

"I felt like I was going through that all over again," Sami said. Upset, Rafe asked Sami why she had turned to E.J. instead of him. When E.J. reiterated that he loved Nicole, she countered that E.J. did not love her but that he clearly cared for Sami, since he kept sleeping with her. Scoffing at the notion, E.J. argued that he detested Sami.

Taken aback, Nicole asked E.J. if he wanted her to believe that he'd had sex with a woman he hated because he had been sad. Sami argued that was the truth. "You know better than anyone how much I hate him," Sami yelled at Nicole. Sami swore to Rafe and Nicole that there was nothing going on between her and E.J. Rafe countered that he did not care and that Sami was free to take up with E.J. because Rafe was finished with her.

Rafe argued that Sami had lied to him and manipulated him. "When people love each other, they don't do those things," Rafe said. Upset, Nicole started to walk out of the house, but E.J. stopped her and begged her to listen to him. "Don't throw everything we have away because I made a stupid mistake," E.J. said. Nicole countered that E.J. was the one who had thrown everything away when he slept with Sami. E.J. assured Nicole that he'd meant what he said when he proposed and that he wanted a fresh start with Nicole.

Taking E.J.'s cue, Sami explained to Rafe that she'd wanted a fresh start with him and that was why she had pushed to renew their wedding vows. Shaking his head, Rafe argued that Sami had wanted to renew their vows to feel better about what she had done with E.J. Across the room, E.J. grabbed Nicole's hand and begged her to stay. Nicole took off her engagement ring, threw it at E.J., and told him she hated him. Crying, Nicole ran out of the mansion.

Rafe argued that Sami and E.J. were obsessed with destroying each other's lives. As Rafe stared into his wife's eyes, he noted to E.J. that if he let Sami take the lead, she would self-destruct every time. "You're right. I blew it. Just like I always do," Sami said. Sami assured Rafe that what had happened with E.J. meant nothing, but angered, Rafe yelled that what had happened meant something to him.

Sami reminded Rafe what he had written in his letter about not giving up on her, but Rafe countered that he had written that letter after Sami kicked him out of the house. Anxious, E.J. excused himself so that he could find Nicole. As E.J. walked past Rafe, Rafe grabbed him and muttered that he should kill E.J. for what E.J. had done to his life. Sami jumped in front of Rafe and urged him to stop.

"He's not worth it," Sami said breathlessly. "You're right. He's not. Neither are you," Rafe said before walking out of the mansion. E.J. shoved Sami aside and grabbed Nicole's engagement ring off of the floor. "We have to fix this," Sami urged E.J. Furious, E.J. reminded Sami that they were not a team and that he was going to find his wife. When E.J. ordered Sami to leave, Sami countered that the situation was E.J.'s fault.

"My fault? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you were on that couch when we had sex," E.J. bellowed. Sami screamed that having sex had been the biggest mistake of her life, and E.J. agreed. When Sami started to run after Rafe, E.J. grabbed her arm and stopped her. E.J. ordered Sami to explain why she had told Rafe about the affair.

"Are you stupid? I didn't tell him!" Sami exclaimed. When E.J. asked whether Will was the one who had told Rafe, Sami argued that Will would not want to hurt Rafe by telling him about the affair. Sami ran out of the mansion, and E.J. called Nicole's cell phone.

Nicole was sitting in Horton Town Square at the café, and she ignored E.J.'s call. As Nicole sat at table, crying, a man placed a hand on her shoulder. Nicole turned to look at the person touching her shoulder. "Oh, my God! What are you doing here?" Nicole asked.

At the airport, Hope assured John that they would be fine. John was suspicious when the flight to Alamania was delayed, but Hope noted that they would get to Alamania soon enough. When John paced uneasily in the aisle, he noticed a suspicious man staring at him in the corner. An airline employee approached John and Hope and asked them if they were Mr. and Mrs. Black. Laughing, Hope started to correct the woman but stopped when she realized the woman was not wrong.

When the woman asked Hope and John why they were headed to Alamania, a beaming Hope cheerfully noted that they were going there for a divorce. Flummoxed, the woman wished them well and left. As Hope and John sat down to talk, John counseled that they needed to get in and out of Alamania as quickly as possible, since the political climate of the country was unstable.

With their plane to Alamania still delayed, Hope grew antsy. John reminded Hope that Bo and Marlena were safe in Salem and that they would return to them soon. After several hours delay, the airline announced that the plane bound for Alamania was ready for boarding. As Hope gathered up her luggage, she tripped and fell into John's arms. Hope apologized for her clumsiness, and she awkwardly backed away from John. As John and Hope boarded the plane, the suspicious man that had been watching them followed them to the gate.

Carrie visited Bo and Marlena at the penthouse to discuss what Stefano's ulterior motive was in ushering John and Hope out of the United States. Bo argued that Stefano did not have a plan because the evidence of the marriage had been locked away in a bank vault for years. Marlena was unsure, but Bo counseled her to remember that they had one another to rely on.

After chatting with Marlena, Bo and Carrie went over to the Brady Pub to talk about work over coffee. Bo thanked Carrie for her help in putting a criminal behind bars. "You're very good at working on my side of the table," Bo joked. Carrie apologized for the collapse of her deal with Bo when Reed and Ramirez folded. When Bo asked Carrie what she was thinking, Carrie became defensive. "I'm not gonna sit here and be judged. Not by you," Carrie said. Carrie assured Bo that she and Austin were working things out, much like Bo and Hope were working things out in their marriage.

Bo noted that he had screwed things up with Hope when he took up with Carly, but that because he had lived through that, he understood how Carrie could have conflicting feelings for two people. "I don't want you to make the same mistakes that I've made," Bo counseled. Bo assured Carrie that he would always be available to talk. Carrie noted that she loved Austin, but that she had feelings for Rafe.

Bo recounted that when he took up with Carly, Hope had moved out of the house with Ciara. Bo explained that he and Hope were not communicating but that Carrie and Austin seemed to be in a better place than he had been in with Hope when Carly returned. Nodding, Bo urged Carrie to admit that she had kissed Rafe because she wanted to kiss him. Bo counseled Carrie to think about what she wanted in the long run.

Fighting tears, Carrie admitted that she wanted to save her marriage but that she could not shake her feelings for Rafe. "What if I'm in love with him, Bo?" Carrie asked worriedly. "Do you love him more than Austin? And if so, would pursuing a relationship with him be worth destroying your marriage, your relationship with your sister, and her kids, et cetera?" Bo said. After talking, Carrie left the pub, and Bo called Hope's voicemail to tell her that he loved her.

At Reed and Hernandez, Rafe packed up his stuff. As Rafe stopped to hang his head in despair, Carrie walked into the office. "Carrie," Rafe said softly.

In Horton Town Square, Will frantically made out with Neil, the man he had met over a game of beer pong. Confused, Will pushed Neil away. When Neil asked Will if he was all right, a stunned Will turned his head and realized that Sonny was standing nearby, watching the scene unfold. Scared and embarrassed, Will ran away while Sonny called out to his cousin to stop him.

Sonny found Will crying on the other side of the square. When Will saw Sonny, he said, "That never would have happened if I hadn't had just too much to drink." Concerned, Sonny said that he believed Will had not kissed Neil because he was drunk but because he had wanted to kiss Neil. Will denied the charge, and Sonny urged Will to talk to him. "I'm the one person who does understand. 'Cause I know exactly what you're going through. I've been there," Sonny said. Shaking his head, Will countered that he did not want to talk to Sonny.

Will rushed over to the penthouse to talk to Marlena. When Marlena asked what had happened, Will admitted that he was confused and that he wanted Marlena to tell him what to do. Hugging her grandson fiercely, Marlena assured Will that she was there for him. Marlena guided Will to the couch and urged him to talk about why he was upset.

Taking a deep breath, Will told Marlena that he had gone to a party with Sonny. Will explained that he had played beer pong and gotten drunk. When Will paused, Marlena urged Will to continue with his story. Will explained that he had wandered off and the guy he had met had followed him. "I kissed him," Will whispered. When Marlena nodded silently, Will noted that she did not look surprised.

With a smile, Marlena told Will that she was glad that he had told her what had happened. Concerned by Marlena's reaction, Will asked her why she was so calm. Marlena explained that she loved Will and would never lie to him. Marlena admitted she had suspected Will was struggling with those emotions. Will asked Marlena why she had not said anything to him.

"I can't tell you how you feel. That's a thing you have to figure out on your own," Marlena said. Marlena assured Will that he did not have to do anything he was not ready for. With a smile, Marlena noted that she would never judge Will. "I just really want you to be happy," Marlena said. "I want to be happy too. Honestly, I can't even remember the last time that I was," Will admitted. Marlena assured Will he would find happiness again.

"Do you think that I'm gay?" Will asked quietly. Marlena countered that it did not matter what she thought because that was a question for Will to answer. "I don't know," Will said quietly. "I think deep down you do. I think you have for a while," Marlena said. As a teary-eyed Will sighed, someone banged on Marlena's front door.

Startled, Marlena rushed to the door and opened it to find a wild-eyed Sami. "How could you? How dare you tell Rafe that I slept with E.J.?" Sami growled.

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