In Hope's office at the police station, the urgent prison release notice that Ciara had previously hidden remained undiscovered.
In an alley, someone continued to brutally assault Rafe, using a heavy metal pipe to deliver repeated blows to his back and torso. After Rafe lost consciousness, the attacker picked up the bag of muffins that Rafe had purchased earlier and calmly walked away.
At the hospital, Kayla and Maxine pulled Cameron aside so that they could talk to him about something important. Kayla said that Cameron's fellow doctors were very pleased with the growth that he had demonstrated during the previous year, and Maxine echoed the sentiment on behalf of the nursing staff. Kayla and Maxine assured Cameron that Lexie would have been proud of him.
"Well, all this is leading up to something, as I'm sure you can imagine. And, uh, at our last interdepartmental meeting, we all decided that we want you to be the new resident liaison," Kayla announced, leaving Cameron speechless. Maxine impatiently reminded Cameron that he had to say something, prompting him to stammer out a gracious acceptance of the position.
Maxine received a text message and excused herself, shaking her head and muttering that some patients would never learn. After Maxine left, Cameron thanked Kayla for the unexpected vote of confidence, and he assured her that he would no longer be causing problems for the hospital, since he had recently quit his job at the strip club. "Good...I think. Or maybe not. I mean, my mother will be disappointed," Kayla dryly stated.
Later, at the Horton Town Square, Kayla ran into Abe, who had already heard about Cameron's new position at the hospital. Abe noted that Lexie would have been proud of Cameron. Realizing that the one-year anniversary of Lexie's death was rapidly approaching, Kayla wondered if Abe was all right. Abe reported that he and Theo were okay, but he admitted that he still occasionally had to remind himself that Lexie was really gone.
At the DiMera mansion, Sami demanded to know why Stefano had not instructed Bernardi to destroy the evidence against Will. Stefano wondered if Sami was referring to the same evidence that she had attempted to prevent Stefano from receiving. Sami tried to justify her actions, reminding Stefano that she was a mother who was trying to protect her son. Unmoved, Stefano insisted that Sami should not have interfered in his business.
Sami asserted that Stefano should have destroyed the evidence, but he believed that keeping it had been the right thing to do. Sami pointed out that marrying E.J. would make her a part of the DiMera family, adding that she had been under the impression that family meant everything to Stefano. "It does. But I also know what happens when you marry a man, eh? So I'd be absolutely a fool to destroy anything so valuable," Stefano replied.
Stefano advised Sami to refrain from giving him a reason to use the evidence to hurt her. Recalling their earlier conversation about chess pieces, Stefano removed one of the pieces from the chessboard and placed it in Sami's hand, explaining that it was a representation of her. Stefano exited the room, and Sami opened her hand to reveal a single pawn. Furious, Sami vowed to prove Stefano wrong.
At the Brady Pub, E.J. and Kate continued to discuss the wedding gift that she had given Sami earlier. Kate suspected that Sami would eventually find a good use for the gift. Without a hint of irony, E.J. warned that violence had rarely solved anything. "Really? Did I just hear those words come crawling out of your mouth? A DiMera spewing platitudes against the use of violence? My, my," Kate mused, shaking her head in disbelief.
E.J. speculated that it would take an entire night to properly discuss Kate's history of violent actions, pointedly recalling that she had married Stefano because of some sort of unsavory business that had involved Chloe Lane. Kate said that marrying Stefano had been the only unsavory part of that situation. Unconvinced, E.J. suggested that Kate's divorce had caused her to get depressed, but she assured him that she couldn't possibly care less about Stefano.
E.J. remained skeptical, theorizing that Kate had given Sami the gun because she had been hoping that Sami would use it to shoot Stefano. "Wrong. I gave Sami the gun because she might need it when she finds out that she's no longer considered of use to the family anymore. And then, if she does pull the trigger and a bullet hits Stefano, I guess you would just have to call that karmic justice," Kate matter-of-factly stated.
E.J. wondered if Kate would feel the same way if a bullet hit Allie or one of the other children. "When it comes to her children, I trust Sami -- always," Kate confidently replied. E.J. abruptly excused himself so that he could answer a phone call, and Gabi seized the opportunity to warn Kate that Rafe was on his way to the pub. After giving the news some consideration, Kate decided to leave.
After ending his phone call, E.J. took a moment to officially congratulate Gabi on her pregnancy. E.J. and Gabi shared some small talk, but he soon received another phone call and excused himself. "Is it done? Good," E.J. said to the caller. E.J. ended the call and said farewell to Gabi, casually observing that Rafe, who had promised to get a new FBI jacket for Johnny and deliver it to E.J. at the pub, had apparently been detained.
In the alley, a horrified Kate discovered Rafe's lifeless body. Kate used her cell phone to request an ambulance, informing the operator that the victim of the attack was a police officer. "If anything happens to you, I don't know what I'll do. I don't know what I'll do," Kate quietly stated, tearfully begging Rafe to hang on until the paramedics arrived.
At Common Grounds, J.J. greeted Will and Sonny, who were holding hands at a corner table. Sonny went to get J.J., who was still on London time, a cup of coffee to keep him awake. J.J. and Will followed Sonny to the bar, where J.J. asked if Will and Sonny were an item. Will confirmed J.J.'s suspicion and wondered if that was going to be a problem for J.J.
Confused, J.J. said that he thought it was great that Will and Sonny were together. Will wished that everyone in the Horton family were as cool as J.J. was. J.J. wondered if someone was giving Sonny and Will a hard time about their relationship. Will confirmed J.J.'s suspicion, vaguely stating that a certain cousin was the culprit. J.J. quickly guessed that Nick Fallon was the cousin in question.
"I always thought that guy was a loser. Be glad he's not on your side," J.J. told Will. Abigail, who had entered the coffeehouse with J.J. and abruptly excused herself so that she could call Cameron, joined the group and wondered what they were talking about. J.J. vaguely stated that he had simply been catching up with Will and Sonny.
Before Abigail could probe for additional information, Hope entered the coffeehouse and greeted the group. After placing an order, Hope took J.J. outside so that they could catch up with each other. Abigail, who was staring intently at her phone, walked away from the bar, leaving Will and Sonny alone. Will wondered if Nick had somehow managed to stop Rafe from telling Gabi the truth about her husband.
Doubtful, Sonny happily predicted that Nick's future would soon look quite bleak. A short time later, J.J. and Hope reentered the coffeehouse, and she excused herself so that she could answer a phone call. Sonny wondered how the conversation with Hope had gone, and J.J. laughed as he revealed that she had basically interrogated him, asking about his family, school, and love life.
Sonny found it odd that J.J.'s school year had already ended, but J.J. simply shrugged and claimed that the school years in England always ended earlier than the school years in America did. Meanwhile, Hope ended her phone call and abruptly excused herself, encouraging the group to enjoy the order that she had already paid for. J.J. was exhausted, so he also excused himself, and Abigail decided to return home with him.
After Abigail and J.J. left, Will wondered if Sonny wanted to get something to eat. "Gabi's working tonight, so I'm thinking we could eat at the pub and watch Rafe bounce Nick's butt on the barroom floor," Will suggested. Sonny eagerly agreed, and he and Will quickly exited the coffeehouse.
At the Horton Town Square, Abigail urged J.J. to tell her the real reason that he had gotten kicked out of school. J.J. stuck to his original story, adding that his roommate -- a total jerk who had believed that he was immune to punishment because he was the son of a rich politician -- had been completely comfortable with showing his stash of drugs to everyone who had visited their dorm room.
Abigail wasn't convinced, but before she could question J.J. further, she received a phone call from Cameron, who apologetically reported that he was going to have to cancel their date because a critically injured patient had just been admitted to the hospital. After ending the call, Abigail informed J.J. that she was going to have plenty of time to get the truth out of him.
Abigail assured J.J. that he could trust her, promising that she wouldn't share the real story with Jennifer. "I told you. Trevor was this total dealer, and they kicked me out with him so his rich dad couldn't claim they favored Americans," J.J. insisted. Frustrated, Abigail agreed to drop the subject, but she warned that she would eventually expect the whole truth from him.
Ignoring Abigail's warning, J.J. peered over her shoulder and observed that someone was checking her out. Abigail turned and spotted two guys standing on the opposite side of the town square, drinking cans of beer. J.J. wondered if Abigail knew either of the guys. Abigail said that she had seen the two guys around town, but didn't know who they were.
Certain that the men would be a bad influence on J.J., Abigail advised him to stay away from them. Before J.J. could respond, Abigail received a phone call and abruptly excused herself, urging him to go home so that he could get some rest. After Abigail left, J.J. nodded at the two guys and started to approach them.
At the hospital, a paramedic informed Kayla that Rafe had suffered a lot of internal damage, adding that he had also stopped breathing for a brief period of time during the ride to the hospital. Kayla thanked the paramedic and rushed into Rafe's examination room to check on him. Meanwhile, Hope arrived at the hospital, regretfully informing Ciara, whom she was talking to on the phone, that Ciara would have to stay at a friend's house that night. After ending the call, Hope spotted Kate, who tearfully reported that Rafe was the person who had been attacked.
In Rafe's room, Kayla and Maxine assessed the damage that had been done to him. Kayla reported that Rafe had a deep concussion, had suffered damage to his skull in three different locations, had bruised and broken ribs, and also had a punctured left lung. Kayla wished that Rafe could wake up and tell the police who had attacked him, but she wasn't very optimistic about his chances of doing so.
At the Brady Pub, Gabi asked if Will and Sonny had seen Rafe recently. Will shook his head and wondered if something was wrong, and Gabi explained that Rafe and Nick were each running late for some reason. A short time later, Nick, who was wearing clothes that looked identical to the items that Rafe's assailant had worn, breathlessly entered the pub, carrying a bag of Gabi's favorite muffins and sweating profusely.
Gabi questioned Nick about his haggard appearance, and he claimed that he had jogged to the pub because he had been running late. Will and Sonny's suspicions were aroused, but they remained silent. Meanwhile, Gabi received a phone call from Hope, who regretfully revealed that Rafe had recently been admitted to the hospital. Gabi, Nick, Will, and Sonny quickly exited the pub.
Back at the hospital, Hope took Kate's statement. A short time later, Kayla emerged from Rafe's room and reported that he had stabilized. Kayla stressed that Rafe was still in critical condition, and she predicted that he would remain that way for a while. Kayla explained that her main concerns were Rafe's internal bleeding and the fluid that had built up on his brain. Kate wanted to see Rafe, but Kayla denied the request.
After Kayla left, Hope tried to escort Kate to a nearby seat, pointing out that there was nothing more that they could do for Rafe. Kate stormed off, insisting that there was something that she could do. Meanwhile, Gabi, Nick, Will, and Sonny arrived at the hospital. Gabi blamed herself for Rafe's attack, reasoning that he wouldn't have been near the alley if she hadn't asked him to purchase a muffin for her.
Will insisted that Gabi was not responsible for the attack, and Nick agreed, theorizing that Rafe had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nick was quick to suggest that a drug addict had probably mugged Rafe. Sonny noted that Rafe, who knew how to defend himself, had obviously been attacked from behind. Gabi wondered who could have done such a terrible thing to Rafe. "Stuff happens," Nick callously stated.
Maxine interrupted and gave Gabi permission to visit Rafe for a few minutes. After Gabi left, Nick abruptly excused himself, vaguely stating that he needed to take care of something. Will and Sonny watched as Nick walked away, their suspicions further aroused. Determining that they needed to have a talk with Nick, Sonny and Will followed him to an empty break room, where they found him working on something on his cell phone.
Will observed that Nick didn't seem to be very upset about what had happened to Rafe. Nick claimed that he was upset, dismissively adding that he was sorry that he wasn't acting like enough of a crybaby to satisfy Will. Will countered that refraining from sending text messages while Gabi was crying her eyes out in another room was the least that Nick could do for her. "You know what? I've absolutely had it with you, Will. Absolutely had it with you and -- and, uh, fancy-pants lover boy here, too," Nick replied, sneering at Sonny with a look of total disgust.
"Okay. All right, let's start the gay-bashing, huh? Go ahead. Let's show everybody who you really are," Will replied. Will observed that when Nick had arrived at the pub earlier that night, his haggard appearance had made it seem like he had recently been in a fight of some sort. Nick claimed that he had been jogging earlier, and he wondered if Will was really trying to suggest that Nick had attacked Rafe.
Sonny pointed out that Rafe had been planning to tell Gabi the truth about Nick, and he mused that it was quite convenient that someone had attacked Rafe before the fateful conversation could occur. Will challenged Nick to account for his whereabouts at the time of the attack, but Nick remained silent. "Okay. I can just go tell Hope right now what I know [and] let the police handle it, unless you want to tell me exactly where you were," Will said.
In the alley, the police surveyed the crime scene. Abe noted that, while all cops had enemies, Rafe's attack could have simply been a random mugging. "Except for the severity of the injuries. I just got off the phone with Kayla. Abe, somebody wanted Rafe dead," Hope confidently stated as she joined Abe. Later, one of the cops showed Hope an FBI jacket that had been found nearby, and she realized that it had been meant for Johnny.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. greeted Sami, who angrily summarized her earlier conversation with Stefano. E.J. assured Sami that everything was going to be fine, but she wasn't convinced. "Look, things are already fine, are they not? My father has the evidence against William, and it's safely stored away. Nick Fallon is not going to be a problem for very much longer," E.J. promised.
Suspicious, Sami wondered what E.J. had done, but he evasively stated that she needed to trust him. E.J. assured Sami that he was looking out for their best interests, but she insisted that they needed to get out of the DiMera mansion right away. E.J. warned Sami to refrain from making impulsive decisions that could lead Stefano to reconsider his decision to help them.
E.J. believed that it would be best for Sami to apologize to Stefano. Sami scoffed and insisted that she would never be able to choke out a believable apology, but E.J. explained that the point was to simply massage Stefano's ego. Sami vehemently objected to E.J.'s suggestion, but she eventually agreed to take his advice. As if on cue, Stefano reentered the living room.
E.J. discreetly nudged Sami, who stammered out a brief apology for her earlier behavior. Stefano accepted the apology, assuring Sami that he understood why she had resorted to drastic measures, since they each loved their respective families. "Oh, yes. In fact, he loves them to death," Kate snapped as she entered the living room. Harold apologetically explained that he had been unable to stop Kate.
"Are you really that empty? That small? Is your ego so fragile that you had to do something this evil? Did you really have to send one of your thugs to beat up Rafe?" Kate tearfully demanded to know. Sami questioned Kate, who revealed that Rafe had been badly injured. Confused, Sami wondered why Stefano would want to hurt Rafe. "Because he found out we were lovers!" Kate blurted out, stunning Sami -- and apparently Stefano, as well.
At the hospital, Gabi gave Rafe a Saint Christopher medal that he had given to her years earlier. Gabi recalled that Rafe had told her that it would keep her safe, and she hoped that it would do the same for him. The medal slipped out of Rafe's hand as he started to flatline, and Kayla and Cameron rushed into his room. Cameron used a defibrillator on Rafe twice, but the machine had no effect on Rafe's heart.
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In the alley, Hope found the FBI jacket that Rafe had dropped. When another officer asked Hope about the jacket, she remarked that Rafe had been en route to see E.J. and give him the jacket. Hope wondered aloud why Rafe had been in the alley. As Hope examined the crime scene, she noticed a footprint and ordered forensics to make a print.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate marched into the living room and accused Stefano of ordering Rafe's beating. When Sami asked Kate why, Kate revealed that she and Rafe had been lovers. Kate turned toward Stefano and saw the shocked look on his face. Realizing that Stefano had not known about her relationship with Rafe, Kate turned pale.
As E.J. called the hospital to check on Rafe's condition, Sami grilled Kate for information. Sami argued that she did not believe any man would be stupid enough to sleep with Kate. Exasperated, Kate pointed at E.J. and Stefano and cried out, "Really? Because these two did!" E.J. informed the group that there was no news on Rafe's condition but that he had an informant at the hospital that would keep them updated.
Sami asked Kate about her relationship with Rafe, and Kate explained that her affair with Rafe had been brief and had ended. Upset, Kate left to return to the hospital. Sami asked Stefano if he had been involved in Rafe's beating. With a scowl on his face, Stefano walked out of the living room. E.J. said that he did not believe Stefano had ordered the beating because Stefano had been genuinely surprised by the news that Rafe had been Kate's lover.
The hospital informant called E.J. With a grim face, E.J. told Sami that they should head to the hospital. Once everyone was gone, Stefano returned to the DiMera living room and muttered, "You son of a bitch." In a fury, Stefano threw his glass in the fireplace.
In the hospital lounge, Will and Sonny questioned Nick about Rafe's beating. Nick denied that he had been involved in the crime. Will asked Nick for his alibi. When Nick shook his head, Will said Nick appeared guilty. Nick handed Will a parking receipt as his alibi. Suspicious, Sonny and Will noted that Nick had been on his way to the pub in a hurry and yet the parking receipt was for a place across town from the pub.
Nick thought back to earlier in the night when he had talked to Vargas on the phone about delivering the money to a contact. Shrugging, Nick suggested that Will and Sonny should talk to Hope. After Nick left, Will said that the alibi looked solid but that Nick's demeanor was suspicious.
At the hospital, Kayla and Cameron furiously worked to save Rafe's life as his heart flatlined. Terrified, Gabi rushed into Rafe's room, crying, pleading for his life. Maxine gently escorted Gabi into the hallway and urged her to calm down and breathe. Maxine counseled Gabi to remember that Rafe would want Gabi to take care of herself and the baby.
Kate arrived at the hospital and agreed with Maxine. As Maxine headed back to work, Kate comforted Gabi. Gabi explained that Rafe's heart had stopped beating and that he was not responding. Fighting tears, Kate told Gabi that Rafe would fight to live and see his niece be born. Smiling, Kate told Gabi that Rafe had bought the baby's christening gown. Nick returned to the waiting area and hugged Gabi as Sami and E.J. arrived at the hospital.
Kayla informed Gabi, Kate, Nick, Sami, and E.J. that Rafe was stable but critical. Kayla added that Rafe's brain was swollen. Nick escorted Gabi down the hallway to an empty lounge to calm her down. Upset, Sami wondered aloud who would hurt Rafe. Kate turned and stared at E.J.
E.J. asked Kayla if Sami could visit Rafe, and Kayla agreed. Sami entered Rafe's room and held his hand. Sighing, Sami told Rafe that she cared about him. Sami joked that Rafe was a terrible patient and would be a handful when he woke up. Sami told Rafe that Gabi was worried, and she urged him to wake up for his sister.
"Johnny thinks you're a hero. For a long time, you were mine. I just want you to get better, okay? We're all waiting for you to get better," Sami said. Wiping tears, Sami walked into the hallway and hugged E.J. Hope arrived at the hospital and narrowed her eyes as she saw E.J. Sami asked Hope if she had any information on Rafe's beating. Hope said that she had found a child's FBI jacket at the crime scene.
Hope added that Rafe had been on his way to give the jacket to E.J. Nodding, E.J. admitted that Rafe had called him and asked to meet at the pub so Rafe could give E.J. the jacket. When Hope noted that E.J. was a suspect in the beating, Sami defended E.J. Hope explained that she could not discount any evidence at that point in the investigation.
At the nurses' station, Will and Sonny asked Cameron about Rafe's injuries. Cameron explained that Rafe's injuries showed that the attacker had surprised Rafe and had intended to beat him to death. Will and Sonny walked down the hall to the lounge, where Kate was sitting. When Will asked Kate if she was worried that Sami and E.J. would learn about her relationship with Rafe, Kate chuckled sadly.
Kate explained that she had stormed into the DiMera mansion to confront Stefano about the beating and had informed Stefano, Sami, and E.J. about her affair with Rafe. When Will asked if Stefano had denied the accusation about the beating, Kate explained that the look of shock on Stefano's face showed that Stefano had been ignorant of Kate's affair. Kate told Will that she wanted to stay at the hospital, and she urged Will and Sonny to head home.
In a nearby lounge, Nick poured Gabi a cup of water and sat her down. Nick counseled Gabi to concentrate on Rafe's condition and not think about what the attacker's motive had been. Nick reminded Gabi that he would be at her side. Nick's phone rang, and he sent Gabi back to Rafe's room. Nick checked his phone and was relieved to see that the account he had invested Vargas' money in was on the rise.
In Rafe's room, Kayla and Cameron reviewed Rafe's lab results. As Gabi and Nick returned to the waiting area outside Rafe's room where Sami, E.J., Hope, and Kate paced, Kayla and Cameron joined them. Kayla asked Gabi for permission to place Rafe in a medically induced coma to aid in the reduction of the swelling of Rafe's brain. Gabi agreed. Kayla and Cameron returned to Rafe's room and administered a drug to induce a medical coma. In the waiting room, Hope stared at E.J. and made a phone call.
In the Horton town square, Will talked to Sonny about his history with Rafe and how much he admired him. Will apologized to Sonny for adding so much drama to their relationship. Will worried aloud that he had inadvertently pushed Nick to beat Rafe. Sonny assured Will that no matter who had hurt Rafe that Will was not to blame.
Abigail walked into the coffeehouse and found a large group of people waiting at the counter for service. Chad returned from the back room with supplies and explained that he would handle each customer in turn. When Abigail walked to the front of the line, one customer became irate. Abigail offered to help Chad wait on customers.
Once the rush had ended, Chad thanked Abigail for her help. Abigail informed Chad that her brother was in town and she needed to head home. When Abigail's phone rang, Chad glanced at Abigail's phone and noted that the call was from Cameron. Abigail answered the phone, and Cameron informed her that he was stuck at the hospital and had to cancel their date. Smiling, Abigail coutered that the cancellation was fine as she was helping Chad at the coffeehouse.
After Abigail ended her phone call, Chad asked her about Cameron. Abigail informed Chad that she had grown closer to Cameron because of the strip club incident. "We sort of picked up right where we left off," Abigail said. When Chad turned away, Abigail pushed Chad to talk to her. Abigail asked Chad what was on his mind, and Chad noted that he had thought about their kiss on New Year's Eve. Chad lamented the fact that he had blown his opportunity with Abigail.
"I may have ruined a chance at something great with you," Chad said. "You may have?" Abigail asked. Chad agreed that he had ruined his chance and he asked Abigail if it was too late for them to start over. Changing the subject, Abigail noted that Chad had to deal with customers. Once Abigail left, Chad smiled and said, "She didn't say no."
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As J.J. played video games at the Horton house, Abigail complained that if he were going to continue wasting his time that way, he should at least do it in his room. J.J. reminded her, "My room has been turned over to some rug rat." Abigail pointed out that if they had known he was returning early from school, they wouldn't have given his room to Parker.
After Abigail left the room, Jennifer entered and immediately switched off the television. She informed her son that she had just returned from picking up registration information for the summer session at Salem High -- where she expected J.J. to make up the semester he'd just lost at his expensive boarding school. Hearing his mom's cross tone, J.J. asked if something were wrong. "You are so busted!" Jennifer declared. Furious, she continued that she had just spoken with the prefect of discipline at St. Alban's, J.J.'s school, who had informed her that J.J., not his roommate, had been the one selling marijuana.
As she headed up the stairs, Abigail overheard and changed course. "Whoa, wait, J.J. -- you were dealing pot?" a shocked Abigail asked. Jennifer said that she needed to talk to J.J. alone, so Abigail left again. J.J. insisted that his wealthy roommate's family had pulled strings to implicate him, but Jennifer didn't buy it. She angrily pointed out that the school could have called the authorities instead of expelling him.
"What is going on with you? How could you do this? You are not the son I raised," Jennifer said worriedly. "How can I be the same? The son you raised, he had a father," J.J. shot back. He apologized for lying but insisted that Jennifer didn't have the whole story. Jennifer pointed out that there weren't many ways to spin selling drugs to minors.
J.J. maintained that he had merely hooked his friends up with his roommate; he had never actually dealt pot, nor did he ever smoke it. J.J. added that he had not changed, but his whole world had because his dad had understood him like no one else. Embracing her son sympathetically, Jennifer said that she still missed Jack a great deal, too.
Abigail returned after making sure the coast was clear. Jennifer asked Abigail to take J.J. to Salem High to help him get registered for summer school. Abigail agreed, so she and J.J. left together.
When Marlena ran into John in Horton Square, she told him that she had spent a long time thinking the night before. "I give up... I'm done with you," she declared sadly. Marlena explained that no matter how hard she had tried to apologize to John, all he seemed to want to do was punish her -- which was not like him -- so he was going to have to look her in the eye and tell her what he wanted. "And if it turns out that what you want is a divorce, even that will be easier than this," she concluded tearfully, her words strangled.
Before John could comment, Marlena got a text message from Sami, informing her that Rafe had been attacked. Marlena hurried off with John right behind her.
At St. Luke's, Nicole was trying to focus on work instead of her feelings for Eric when Eric suddenly rushed, breathless, through the door. "Come with me... I'll explain in the car," Eric said as he grabbed Nicole and hurried her out.
At the hospital, Daniel checked on an unconscious Rafe and found his steady vital signs encouraging. E.J. was waiting outside when Daniel left Rafe's room. Although E.J. asked how Rafe was, Daniel wondered if E.J. had been responsible for the assault on Rafe. "This whole hospital knows that Hope Brady told you that she considers you a suspect," Daniel explained. E.J. shrugged it off, but Daniel pointed out that there was a lot of history between E.J. and Rafe -- as well as E.J. and Daniel.
"Then you must be wondering who's next," E.J. countered. Unconcerned about that, Daniel warned E.J. that there was a guard outside Rafe's door who would keep out anyone unauthorized, plus Rafe was in a medically induced coma. E.J. asked where Gabi was, and Daniel said that he had sent her home to get some rest. Concluding that he was wasting his time, E.J. left.
Daniel was leaving a message to update Kate about Rafe's condition when Nicole and Eric got off the elevator. Nicole asked to see Rafe, but Daniel cautioned her that Rafe might not even know she was there. When Nicole looked through the window at Rafe, the sight of his bruised and bloodied face alarmed her so much that her knees buckled.
Eric said, "Gabi called; she said she thinks he may need a priest." Daniel confirmed that Rafe had been very badly beaten and would remain in a coma until the swelling in his brain went down -- but Rafe was strong and healthy, and it was a good sign that he had survived the night. "I think I should perform the sacrament," Eric announced as he went into Rafe's room.
A worried Nicole asked, "Daniel, did E.J. do this? Was this because of me?" Daniel informed her that E.J. had already been there that morning, but he had insisted that he hadn't been involved, although Hope wasn't convinced. Nicole hoped that Rafe would be able to tell them what had happened when he woke up, but Daniel cautioned her that Rafe might not even remember being attacked.
Daniel remarked that he'd been hanging out with his son when he'd learned that his friend had been assaulted. Nicole tearfully reminded Daniel that Rafe had been there for her when she'd needed them -- as had Daniel. Grasping Daniel's face in her hands, Nicole begged Daniel to let her go in to see Rafe if she promised not to make a scene. Daniel agreed, so Nicole went in as soon as Eric left.
Alone in the room with Rafe, Nicole put on a brave face and playfully chided him that the police department was going to fall apart without him. Fighting back tears as she pulled up a chair, she declared that people like him weren't supposed to end up lying comatose in a hospital bed. "You're supposed to be out there, saving the world, making it a better place, so you have to come back, okay?" Nicole pleaded tearfully.
When Marlena arrived, Nicole was still in with Rafe, and Eric was waiting outside the room. As Eric embraced his mom, he was surprised to see that John was with her. Eric quickly updated Marlena and John on Rafe's condition. Marlena wanted to see Rafe but Eric informed her that Daniel, who had to authorize it, was on rounds. John left to have Daniel paged.
Marlena expressed her surprise that Sami wasn't there. Eric explained that Daniel had convinced both Sami and Gabi to go home and get some rest. Marlena asked if the police knew who had assaulted Rafe. "No, there were no witnesses. They found him unconscious," Eric replied. Marlena decided to try to find Sami instead of going in to see Rafe. When John returned and heard that, he insisted on accompanying Marlena if she were going to the DiMera mansion.
As they passed in front of the Brady Pub, John stopped Marlena and told her that what she'd said earlier had resonated with him. "I haven't been fair to you," he added, and Marlena agreed. John stated, "I don't have any right to keep you in limbo, especially since I can't make any promises about the future. So, if you think a divorce is better for you than the way you're living your life right now, you should go ahead and file."
J.J. and Abigail walked through Horton Square after getting him registered for summer school. J.J. tried to convince his sister that the school had kicked him out because they'd been covering for his roommate, but a skeptical Abigail wanted to know what had really happened. J.J. urged her to let it go. Just then, Abigail got a text message from Gabi about what had happened to Rafe. After making sure that J.J. would be fine to get home by himself, Abigail hurried off.
On a break, Daniel went to visit Jennifer and filled her in about Rafe's condition. Jennifer wanted to do something for Daniel because she knew how close he and Rafe were. "I just came here to see you, and I thought I'd hear some kids hanging out. Just wanted to make sure everyone's okay," Daniel explained. Jennifer apologetically informed him that the kids were out. Reading her mood, Daniel could tell that something was wrong and asked what was going on.
Jennifer insisted it was nothing, but added, "There is something that I need to tell you, and that is that there is nothing wrong with us. And I'm really happy about that." She kissed Daniel just as J.J. returned home. Dismayed, J.J. stood silently watching while Daniel enthusiastically kissed Jennifer and began to move his hands over her body.
Back at St. Luke's, Nicole was obviously still shaken up about Rafe. She remembered how at one time she had actually hoped for something bad to happen to Rafe, but Eric assured her that Rafe knew how much she'd changed. "I'm not that different," Nicole insisted. "I know you didn't make this happen," Eric countered. Nicole pointed out that E.J. was a suspect -- possibly because of what he'd done to help her.
Nicole lamented that it had been weeks since she'd talked to Rafe, and she hated to think that he could die without knowing that she appreciated everything he'd done for her. "He knows how grateful you are to him," Eric reassured her. He tried to comfort Nicole by touching her arm, but she jerked it away and asked him not to. "Why not? What is wrong with you?" Eric asked with concern.
Nicole insisted that nothing was wrong but somewhat anxiously pointed out that whoever had attacked Rafe was still out there -- and she was worried that person would try to finish the job.
In the living room of the DiMera mansion, Brady found Kristen admiring the flowers and candles for their wedding. Brady declared that he didn't want to wait another day -- he wanted to get married right away. Kristen reminded him that they had a schedule to keep because there would be guests present the next day, plus she wanted to do things right. Brady sulked a bit but conceded.
After kissing Kristen, Brady noticed that she seemed a little sad and asked why. Before she could answer, Brady's cell phone rang with a call from his office. After he hung up, he told Kristen about the attack on Rafe -- and voiced his suspicion that E.J. or Stefano had ordered it. Just then, E.J. returned home.
"Who ordered the hit on Rafe? Was it you or Stefano?" Brady demanded. Smiling with smug nonchalance, E.J. pointed out that no matter what he said, Brady wouldn't believe him -- but E.J. added that he and Stefano hadn't had anything to do with Rafe's beating. When Brady left the room to find out what else he could, Kristen confronted her brother. "Did you do it?" she demanded.
E.J. assured her that he hadn't, and he assumed that Stefano hadn't done it, either. Kristen didn't understand why Stefano would want to hurt Rafe. E.J. somewhat gleefully filled her in about Rafe's affair with Kate but added that Stefano hadn't known about it until Kate had blurted it out. Kristen angrily pointed out that regardless of what E.J. had said, Brady still believed that one of the DiMeras had been responsible.
Brady returned just then and informed the others that Rafe was critical and might not make it -- and E.J. was an official suspect. After E.J. left to look for Sami, Kristen assured Brady that neither Stefano nor E.J. had ordered the attack on Rafe. Livid, Brady declared that he didn't believe it for a minute, because he had been there when E.J. had gotten Anna to kidnap Sydney and when E.J. had told Sami that Sydney was dead.
Kristen pointed out that Sami had obviously forgiven E.J. Brady countered that he had been trying to do so for the sake of his relationship with Kristen, but he was having a hard time, and he didn't know how he was going to stomach Stefano and E.J. watching them get married. Brady reminded Kristen that they were about to adopt a child. He declared, "I don't want E.J. or Stefano near any kid of mine -- and if you looked at them honestly, Kristen, you wouldn't want it, either."
Brady stormed out, leaving Kristen disconcerted. "Why the hell is this happening now?" Kristen fretted, pacing around the living room. Brady's words from their argument echoed in her head, as did Stefano's voice warning her that Brady would never forgive her. She heard herself telling Stefano that Brady would be collateral damage, as well as Brady declaring his love for her. The words and phrases overlapped until it was utter, unintelligible cacophony.
Finally Kristen snapped. Tormented, she picked up a flower arrangement and ripped it apart -- just as Brady returned. "What the hell are you doing?" Brady asked, alarmed. "No, what are we doing? You and me and all this crap! What are we doing?" Kristen shouted. She added that although she was truly sorry about Rafe, maybe the incident would force them to look at things they'd been ignoring.
Trying to calm her, Brady promised that they would work it out. Kristen reminded him, "I'm a DiMera, Brady, and I'm not going to apologize for that. And I'm not going to turn my back on my family. So if you can't handle that, then maybe we should just call this whole thing off!"
E.J. went back to the hospital and tried to enter Rafe's room. When the cop outside denied E.J. entry, E.J. peered through the window at Rafe. The nurse attending to Rafe spotted E.J. and closed the blinds.
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At the DiMera mansion, Kristen argued that, while it was awful that Rafe had been attacked, it was also fortuitous, because that event had reminded her of all of the reasons that she and Brady shouldn't be together.
"You're just -- you're too good, Brady. You're -- you're too good. And marrying me is gonna hurt you, and you don't see it right now," Kristen asserted. Brady skeptically wondered when Kristen had learned how to predict the future. Kristen remained silent, thinking about her secret revenge scheme.
Meanwhile, Brady insisted that his issues with the rest of the DiMera family had nothing to do with his relationship with Kristen, who, unlike Stefano and E.J., had truly changed into a better person. "Brady, I'm trying to give you an out! I'm giving you an out! Would you please -- God, just take it!" Kristen snapped. Brady refused to take the bait, assuring Kristen that he only wanted her.
Brady started to apologize for being quick to blame Stefano and E.J. for Rafe's attack, but Kristen interrupted and insisted that, as usual, Brady had done nothing wrong. With their argument apparently resolved, Brady suggestively stated that he wanted to take Kristen to a more private location. Before Kristen could respond, someone rang the doorbell.
Kristen asked Brady to answer the door, explaining that she had given the staff the day off so that she could make them work extremely hard at the wedding the following day. Brady smiled, admiring Kristen's ability to be mean and nice at the same time. After Brady left, Kristen quietly reiterated that he was too good. A short time later, Brady returned with Maggie, who was carrying a wedding gift.
Kristen politely excused herself, gesturing toward the ruined flower arrangement and explaining that she needed to take care of a minor emergency. After Kristen left, Maggie wondered if everything was all right. Brady offered a vague explanation about cold feet, blaming John for the entire incident. Declaring that he and John needed to work a few things out, Brady stormed out of the mansion.
At the Horton house, Jennifer and Daniel continued to kiss, unaware that J.J. had returned home. J.J. went back to the front door, opened it, and pointedly slammed it shut to announce his presence. Jennifer and Daniel quickly pulled away from each other as J.J. entered the living room, pretending that he hadn't seen anything earlier. "You're sure around here a lot, aren't you?" J.J. observed when he spotted Daniel.
Jennifer confirmed that Daniel and Parker were always welcome in her home. With just a hint of bitterness, J.J. noted that Parker had apparently taken over J.J.'s room. Daniel offered to help J.J. move Parker's stuff out of the room so that J.J. could reclaim it, but J.J. refused the offer, claiming that it wasn't a big deal.
Observing that it seemed like he had interrupted an intense conversation, J.J. started to leave, but he stopped when he realized that he had forgotten to tell Jennifer that he had enrolled in summer school earlier. "Hope I didn't screw it up," J.J. added before walking away. After J.J. left, Jennifer explained that he had been having some trouble at school, choosing not to share the whole story because she didn't want to violate his privacy.
Guessing that J.J. was simply missing Jack, Daniel informed Jennifer that boys often messed up instead of expressing their grief in more common ways. Knowing that J.J. would probably think of him as an interloper for a while, Daniel assured Jennifer that he had thick skin and could handle the criticism. Changing the subject, Jennifer announced that she had recently purchased an album for Daniel online.
As J.J. quietly descended the stairs, Daniel promised to copy the album to his MP3 player later that day. J.J. eavesdropped as Jennifer and Daniel talked about the sentimental value of the device -- a gift from Melanie that had a special message engraved on it. Despite some initial skepticism, Daniel had grown to love the device, which, aside from Jennifer, was the thing that he would most want to have with him on a deserted island.
J.J. went back upstairs, changed his clothes, and returned to the foyer to announce that he was going for a jog to clear his head. J.J. casually mentioned that he had loaned his MP3 player to his roommate and had forgotten to reclaim it before leaving the school, and he wondered if Jennifer owned one that he could borrow. Jennifer shook her head and advised J.J. to ask Abigail.
Daniel retrieved his MP3 player from his pocket and offered it to J.J., assuring him that it wasn't packed with lame songs. J.J. inspected the playlist and admitted that it was kind of cool, and he promised to return the device after he was finished jogging. Jennifer warned J.J. to be careful with the item, since it meant a lot to Daniel. Daniel dismissed Jennifer's concern, informing J.J. that the MP3 player was virtually indestructible.
Later, after J.J. and Daniel left, Jennifer told Maggie about Daniel's earlier attempts to form a relationship with J.J. Jennifer optimistically stated that it would be great if Daniel and J.J. could get along with each other. Meanwhile, at the hospital, J.J. found Daniel in an empty examination room. "Listen, um, thank you for loaning me this, but, uh, by the way, it broke," J.J. matter-of-factly stated as he handed Daniel the broken pieces of the MP3 player.
J.J. claimed that he had dropped the device and had been unable to retrieve it before it had been crushed under the wheel of a passing truck. Daniel told J.J. not to worry about it. "Thanks, but still...bummer, huh?" J.J. dismissively stated before walking away.
Outside the Brady Pub, John told Marlena that it might be best for them to just make a clean break from each other. "We just got remarried. We survived everything that Stefano has put us through. We found our way back together. And you want to make a clean break?" Marlena asked incredulously. John shrugged and said that things had changed, but Marlena countered that the only difference was that Kristen had returned to Salem.
John agreed that Kristen's return had initiated the strain in his marriage, but he asserted that he and Marlena had each made some hurtful choices along the way that had also contributed to the decline of their relationship. After conceding John's point, Marlena wondered if he really believed that divorcing her would be the best way to resolve the situation. John replied that Marlena deserved better, prompting her to slap him.
"Don't you dare play noble with me, and don't you do what you think is best for me. You have spent weeks pushing me away with both hands, trying to push me towards Roman. You know, you act as though I'm some object for which you have no more use," Marlena angrily stated. John matter-of-factly replied that Marlena's observation had effectively proven his point -- he wasn't treating her as well as she deserved to be treated.
"I never thought I would say this, but you disgust me. I fell in love with a man of action, a man who did things, and I'm looking at a man who does nothing -- not even when he's about to lose the people who love him most in the world. I can't even look at you," Marlena said before walking away. John chased after Marlena, managing to catch up to her in a secluded section of Horton Town Square.
John said that he didn't want his relationship with Marlena to end with a bitter argument. Marlena tearfully admitted that she was partially responsible for everything that had happened, since she had resorted to the same underhanded tactics that Kristen was known for. Ignoring John's protests, Marlena added that blaming Kristen had been easier than facing the truth about the person whom Marlena had turned into.
Struggling to maintain her composure, Marlena said that she understood why John couldn't forgive her for the things that she had done. John started to object, but he stopped himself and simply stated that he was sorry. Meanwhile, Kristen approached John and Marlena, silently hovering around them until Marlena finally excused herself. After Marlena left, Kristen feigned concern and wondered if there was trouble in paradise.
John announced that he and Marlena were getting a divorce. "Wow, what a thudding irony -- you ending your marriage the day before I'm starting mine. I mean...wow. Well, I hope you meet somebody new. And I hope the next one is just a little bit more stable than that one. Have a nice day," Kristen said before walking away. Shortly after Kristen left, Brady arrived and said that he wanted to talk to John.
Brady said that if John ever needed to say anything to Kristen, he needed to filter the message through Brady. John noted that it was going to be difficult to do that, since he and Brady were no longer talking to each other. Brady took John's response as confirmation that he wasn't done with Kristen yet. John impatiently replied that he was done talking to Brady, and he abruptly walked away.
A short time later, Kristen returned and greeted Brady, guessing that he had just had a conversation with John. Brady dismissively stated that John didn't matter, adding that the only person who mattered was Kristen. Kristen reminded Brady that she was a DiMera, but he countered that she was a DiMera in name only. Brady announced that he wanted Kristen to take his name after the wedding, meaning that she would be Kristen Black.
Kristen hesitated, stating that she needing some time to think about Brady's request. Brady understood, but he reminded Kristen that no amount of time or thought was going to change the fact that they loved each other. "That's what screwed everything up," Kristen quietly muttered after Brady left. Later, John approached Kristen and wondered if she had really called off the wedding.
In Hope's office at the police station, Kate was disappointed to learn that Hope had not yet managed to find Rafe's assailant. Hope wondered why Kate had never bothered to mention the fact that she had been sleeping with Rafe. Kate said that she had been trying to protect Rafe's reputation, and Hope sarcastically agreed that thoughtfulness had always been one of Kate's most endearing qualities.
Kate insisted that her relationship with Rafe wasn't relevant, since Stefano had not even known about it until after the attack. Unconvinced, Hope pointed out that Stefano could have simply feigned shock in order to avoid suspicion. Kate asserted that she knew Stefano well enough to know that he had been telling the truth. Kate urged Hope to get confirmation from Sami and E.J., who had also witnessed Stefano's reaction to the news.
Hope nodded and changed the subject, wondering if Rafe had talked to Kate about any of the cases that he had recently been working on. Kate admitted that she and Rafe had never really done much talking. Hope feigned shock, sarcastically stating that Kate and Rafe had a lot in common with each other.
"You know, I'm used to snide and condescending remarks, and usually I don't give a damn, but Rafe was my friend, and I cared about him, and I saw what was done to him, so do me a favor and cut me some freakin' slack," Kate replied, and Hope apologized for her earlier comment. Kate urged Hope to find the person who was responsible for hurting Rafe, and Hope promised that she wouldn't rest until she had accomplished that task.
"Well, when you do, I'd like just five minutes alone with them...with a baseball bat," Kate said before walking away. Hope quietly muttered that Kate was going to have to stand in line. Hope mused that, while E.J. and Stefano were obvious suspects, she had a feeling that she was still missing a piece of the puzzle. As Hope continued to ponder the case, the urgent prisoner release notice that Ciara had previously hidden remained undiscovered.
At the hospital, one of the nurses informed Sami and Lucas that Rafe's condition had not changed. Sami hugged Lucas, tearfully stating that she couldn't lose Rafe, whom the kids loved. Lucas skeptically agreed that the kids were the only people who loved Rafe. Sami conceded that she also loved Rafe, despite the fact that she could no longer stand to be in the same room with him.
Sami started to tell Lucas about Kate's earlier outburst at the DiMera mansion, but she quickly realized that he wasn't aware that Kate had been sleeping with Rafe. Sami reluctantly revealed the truth to Lucas, who muttered that Kate had always had a talent for humiliating herself. Disturbed, Lucas quickly changed the subject, pointing out that Sami was about to marry someone who had placed her ex-husband in the hospital.
Sami insisted that E.J. was innocent, but Lucas wasn't convinced. Eager to defend E.J., Sami revealed that he had arranged to meet with Rafe on the night of the attack so that Rafe could give him a new FBI jacket to give to Johnny. Lucas pointed out that Sami had just confirmed that E.J. had known Rafe's exact whereabouts on the night of the attack.
"You're in denial. You're so worried about Rafe, you're scared. He's in there fighting for his life, and you won't even admit that E.J.'s the one who put him there," Lucas added. Gabi overheard Lucas' statement and wondered if he really believed that E.J. was responsible for Rafe's attack. Sami dismissively stated that Lucas was biased, since he hated E.J., but Gabi countered that Rafe had also hated E.J.
Pointing out that Gabi needed to avoid stress, Sami urged her to let the police figure out who had attacked Rafe. Later, after Gabi left, Sami received a phone call from Hope, who wanted to talk to her at the police station. Lucas guessed that E.J. had used Sami as his alibi, but she insisted that Lucas was wrong, leading to another round of their earlier argument about E.J.'s possible role in the attack.
"You're protesting too much again, and that means you know it's the truth! You always do that. When you hear the truth, you protest too much. You're scared of the truth, Sami," Lucas observed, but Sami ignored him and angrily walked away. Sami went to the police station, where Hope wondered what Sami and E.J. had been doing before he had decided to meet with Rafe on the night of the attack.
Sami defensively stated that she and E.J. had simply been hanging out with Johnny. Sami sighed, realizing that Johnny was going to be devastated to learn that Rafe was in the hospital, since they had always shared a really special bond with each other. Sami recalled that Johnny had recently mentioned that he had loved living with Rafe. Intrigued, Hope wondered how E.J. had felt about Johnny's revelation.
Sami insisted that E.J. hadn't even heard Johnny's comment. "Oh, and no one ever overhears anything in that house," Hope sarcastically countered. Sami said that it didn't matter either way, since E.J. was completely innocent. Still skeptical, Hope noted that it seemed like Sami's confidence was wavering.
Sami insisted that E.J. was not the same man whom he had once been. "And Kristen's not the same woman. Now they're all like the von Trapp family, right?" Hope dryly stated. Changing the subject, Hope asked about Stefano. Sami said that she believed that Stefano had been completely unaware of Kate's relationship with Rafe, adding that E.J. agreed with her.
As Hope continued to voice her skepticism, Gabi barged into the room and blurted out that E.J. was responsible for Rafe's attack. Gabi recalled that she had overheard E.J.'s end of a cryptic phone call on the night of the assault. After hearing Gabi's statement, Hope quickly placed a call to the man who was guarding Rafe's room, warning him that Rafe might still be in danger.
At Common Grounds, Lucas greeted Kate. "What a surprise. Thought you'd be busy pulling tricks somewhere again," Lucas said as he took a seat at Kate's table. Kate wondered if that was Lucas' not-so-subtle way of saying that Sami had told him about Kate's latest transgression.
"Did you do a Google search on 'least appropriate partners' and come up with my ex-wife's ex-husband? I mean, the guy's the uncle to your great-grandchild. Really? Mom, that's sick. But if you think it's a match made in heaven, go for it," Lucas said. Lucas started to walk away, but Kate stopped him. After acknowledging that it couldn't be easy to have her for a mother, Kate told Lucas that she was worried that Rafe's attack might have been her fault.
Lucas disagreed, theorizing that E.J. was responsible for the assault. Kate conceded that the DiMeras did have a history of taking their time before exacting revenge. Lucas suggested that it might have been a preemptive strike, pointing out that every man who had ever been with Sami knew that she always wanted the man whom she couldn't have. Lucas reasoned that it was just a matter of time before Sami would start to want Rafe again.
Kate said that if that was why E.J. had attacked Rafe, he hadn't taken the assault far enough. "With Sami's B-movie mind, what could be more romantic than nursing Rafe back to health?" Kate mused. Lucas agreed, recalling that Sami had been extremely worried about Rafe at the hospital earlier. Lucas added that he suspected that Sami was even more worried that E.J. might have had something to do with the attack.
Kate noted with surprise that she actually felt kind of sorry for Sami. Kate pointed out that E.J. was extremely good at covering his tracks, which meant that Sami would probably never be certain of his innocence or guilt. Kate summarized that Sami was going to have to live with the nagging suspicion that she might be living with the man who had tried to kill the man whom she truly loved.
Elsewhere, someone was reading the latest copy of the Salem Spectator, which featured a front-page article about Rafe's attack. The person crumpled the newspaper and tossed it in a trashcan before exiting the coffeehouse. Later, the person lurked near Rafe's room at the hospital, holding a bouquet of flowers.
The person seemed to resemble the man who had recently given Vargas thirty thousand dollars.
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In the park, Kristen accused John of spying on her and Brady. Ignoring her, John picked up Kristen's flowers and asked, "So did you just dump Brady or are you going to marry him tomorrow?" Kristen yanked the flowers away from him and ordered him to go away. John asserted that they both knew that wasn't what she really wanted. "Why don't you tell me what you think I want, and I'll tell you if you're right," Kristen suggested with a seductive swagger of her shoulders.
A soccer ball slammed into the wall nearby, interrupting John and Kristen's conversation, and two little boys chased after it. While John returned the ball to the kids, Kristen flashed back to losing her baby years earlier. With John's back still turned, she removed something from her purse on the bench and held it behind her back.
When the boys left, John noticed the expression on Kristen's face and asked if she were all right. "You know, there was hope for us a long time ago, but it's so dead. It's never coming back, is it? I've done what I had to do. Now it's time to move on," Kristen stated. Stroking her arm, John said, "I don't think that you have moved on. And Brady...doesn't have to know." Holding John's gaze, Kristen surreptitiously dropped the folded piece of paper from her purse onto the ground behind her.
After a long, lingering look, Kristen smacked John across the face. "I'm going to marry Brady tomorrow. Nothing's going to stop me," she declared confidently. After Kristen stalked off, John rubbed his jaw thoughtfully. "Yeah, that went well," he said to himself. John started to leave but spotted the piece of paper that Kristen had dropped.
John picked the paper up and unfolded it, revealing a confirmation from the Salem Inn. He wondered aloud whether Kristen had dropped it accidentally or on purpose -- although it didn't matter, because either way, he had what he needed. "So after tonight, Brady and Kristen will be finished -- forever," John declared, stuffing the confirmation into his jacket pocket.
Nick waited in an alley for Vargas, who scared Nick by sneaking up on him and clapping a hand on his shoulder. When Vargas asked what Nick had for him, Nick produced a duffel bag full of cash. Vargas was quite pleased when he counted the money. He offered a stack of bills to Nick as "commission," but Nick declined. Nick assumed that their business was concluded, but Vargas reminded him menacingly, "[Tripling my money] was a few days of work for you. I kept you alive for a few years. So this right here? This is a good start, see, but you and me, we're not finished, man. Not even close."
At the police station, Hope checked in with the guard outside Rafe's room and then informed Gabi that Rafe was safe. Gabi recounted the phone call she'd overheard E.J. making the night Rafe had been attacked, but Sami vehemently maintained that E.J. hadn't beaten Rafe up. Hope agreed, pointing out that whoever had attacked Rafe had been trying to kill him. Gabi reminded Sami that it wouldn't be the first time that E.J. had tried to kill Rafe.
"Everything is different now," Sami asserted. Incredulous, Gabi recounted, "Rafe tries to protect you, and E.J. goes after him. Rafe tries to protect Nicole, and E.J. goes after him. There's a pattern, Sami!" Hope suggested that perhaps Sami should leave, but Gabi continued that Rafe had put his life on the line to protect Sami and Sydney -- but the DiMera money and power were obviously more important to Sami than Rafe's life.
Sami reminded Hope that Gabi was pregnant and emotional -- and looking for someone to blame. Gabi interjected that she blamed herself, because Rafe would never have been in that alley if she hadn't asked him to get her a muffin from Martha's. Hope's ears perked up, and she began looking through the case file on her desk. Softening, Sami tried to reassure Gabi that it hadn't been her fault.
Hope informed Gabi and Sami that the police had not found anything from the bakery at the scene. Gabi's expression clouded as she remembered Nick arriving at the Brady Pub with a bag from Martha's Muffins. Sami caught it and asked what was wrong. "What's wrong is that the DiMeras had my brother beaten up and that no one's going to do anything about it," Gabi spat, then turned and left.
Sami told Hope that E.J. had sworn he hadn't had anything to do with the attack on Rafe. "And E.J.'s never, ever lied to you before, right?" Hope said, adding, "E.J. could have a bullet-ridden corpse at his feet and a smoking gun in his hand, and you'd still buy that he was innocent." As Hope left to pick up Ciara, she urged Sami to keep her own children safe. After Hope had gone, Sami tried to convince herself, "It couldn't have been E.J."
Ciara was alone in Horton Square, looking at her picture of Kristen and Sy, when Nicole found her. Nicole asked what Ciara had, but Ciara firmly replied that it was private. Caroline showed up just then with Johnny in tow and chided Ciara for running ahead. Ciara quickly stashed the envelope back in her backpack.
Johnny and Ciara played together on a bench, and Caroline and Nicole caught up while watching the kids from a table in the café. Caroline explained that Paula, the kids' regular babysitter, had taken Sydney and Allie for ice cream. The women agreed that what had happened to Rafe was horrifying. Nicole informed Caroline that Eric had given last rites to Rafe, and Caroline corrected her that the church had started calling it the sacrament of the sick.
Nicole expressed her gratitude that Eric had been there for her at the hospital. Caroline said that she hadn't been surprised when Sami had fallen for Rafe because he was a lot like Eric -- plus they were both "killer handsome." Nicole gasped with mock shock, but agreed because she thought that Eric and Rafe were both good men. Caroline declared, "That's why I think Sami is an idiot." She quickly retracted it, adding that Nicole was lucky because she and Eric were just friends.
Later, Johnny put something back into his backpack and demanded, "Come on, Ciara. I showed you my secret. What's in the envelope?" Clutching the sticker-covered envelope tightly, Ciara told Johnny that he couldn't see it because it wasn't for boys. Johnny distracted her and tried to grab the envelope, but she gripped it fiercely. "No, don't look! You can't look!" Ciara shrieked as they tussled for the envelope.
Caroline rushed over and demanded to know what was going on. She chided the children, but Ciara insisted that Johnny had started it by trying to steal her things. Johnny eyed Ciara's backpack while Caroline fixed Ciara's hair.
When Hope arrived to pick Ciara up, Johnny said, "Bye, Ciara. I'm sorry I made you mad!" He snickered to himself as Hope and Ciara left.
Hope took Ciara back to the police station, where the document that Ciara had stashed was still hidden in the bookcase. The little girl whined that she hated it there, but Hope reassured her that they would go out for pizza in a little while. Hope answered her phone when it rang. "What prisoner? No, I never received any paperwork on that," Hope said as she hurried to her computer, while Ciara pulled one of the stickered envelopes out of her backpack.
Brady ran into an upset Marlena in front of the Brady Pub and asked her what was wrong. Blinking back tears, Marlena whirled on Brady and angrily declared that she didn't want to discuss it with him. As she started to storm off, Marlena ran smack into Eric, who could immediately tell that she had been crying. He pulled his mother into his arms and glared at Brady. "So what have you done now?" Eric asked Brady.
Inside, Marlena assured her son that although things weren't going well, she was not giving up on John. Eric offered to take Marlena home, but she wanted to wait to see if Caroline had any news about Rafe. Brady wanted to, as well, because he hadn't gotten a chance to go to the hospital yet. "Well, of course you haven't, because you're busy making the biggest mistake of your entire life," Marlena declared.
Brady maintained that John was the one in the wrong, but Marlena argued that John was only acting out of love for Brady. When Brady suggested that John was jealous of what Kristen and Brady had, Marlena burst out laughing. Turning to Eric, Brady pointed out that in the Bible, Paul said that love was patient and kind -- not envious, angry, or resentful. "My dad is none of those things, and if you knew what was good for you, you would give up on him just like I have, Marlena," Brady declared. Refusing to take the bait, Marlena left.
Eric urged Brady to stop making judgments about John, since the same things could be said about Brady. Brady bristled. "I'm not speaking to you as a priest but as your brother: I think you're an idiot," Eric declared. Brady stated softly, sincerely, that he hadn't intended to hurt Marlena. He added that it didn't feel like he was pushing people away; it felt like they were pulling away. Brady implored Eric to go to the wedding.
"I can't do that to my mother. I'm sorry," Eric asserted before getting up and leaving. Eric brushed right past Nicole as she walked in with only a quick greeting. Nicole asked Brady, "What was that all about?" Brady didn't want to talk about it, so Nicole produced a wedding gift from her bag. She made a joke about the size of the wedding, and Brady's mood darkened again. He declared, "If my dad and his wife don't want to see me get married, then that's fine. I don't really give a damn about them."
An understanding Nicole stroked Brady's hand, noting, "But you do care about your brother. Is he coming?" Without answering the question, Brady got up and left -- forgetting Nicole's gift. She called after him but remarked to herself that perhaps she could get something better.
Nicole went to St. Luke's and told Eric that she would like to repay him for everything that he'd done for her. She asked if he were attending Brady and Kristen's wedding, but Eric replied that he was not. Nicole pointed out that Brady wouldn't have any family there besides Victor and Maggie if Eric didn't go. "Brady will be fine. He's got Kristen," Eric asserted.
When Brady arrived at the DiMera mansion, Kristen rushed into the foyer to kiss him and thank him for giving her some time to think. "Now I know for sure what I really, really want is to marry you," she declared between kisses. She added that she was certain that the next day would be the happiest day of her life. Observing Brady's downcast mood, Kristen asked what was wrong. He admitted that he had seen his dad. Brady suspected that John had been following them earlier and asked if Kristen had seen John, as well.
Kristen claimed that although she had seen John, she had ignored him. Brady confided that he had also run into Marlena, who had obviously been crying but who was refusing to give up on John. Kristen expressed her hope that after the "wedding drama" was over, John and Marlena would fall back in love. Brady seemed skeptical that was what Kristen really wanted, but she assured him that she could afford to be generous because she was about to get everything she'd ever wanted.
After Brady got a phone call, he reluctantly informed Kristen that he had to leave. She promised to keep the champagne chilled for him, and Brady teasingly urged her not to change her mind again. After Brady had gone, Kristen declared, "I'm not going to change my mind, Brady, because if I did, then John and Marlena might end up back together. We can't have that, now, can we?"
When Marlena went back to the pub, Caroline had returned with Johnny. "I can't shake the feeling that Kristen is calling all the shots and there's nothing anything can do to stop her," Marlena confided to Caroline. "I don't know how much more of her manipulations you can take," Caroline said sympathetically. Meanwhile, Johnny was looking at the picture he'd swiped from Ciara's backpack. He quickly stuck it back in his backpack before anyone else saw it.
At Common Grounds, Will and Sonny looked at a map on Sonny's phone, comparing the location of the parking garage from which Nick had a receipt to the alley where Rafe had been attacked. Will concluded that Nick hadn't really had time to beat Rafe up and make it back to the garage, but Sonny wasn't so sure. Will didn't buy that Nick would have hurt Rafe that badly just to keep him from telling Gabi that Nick was homophobic.
"I don't think anyone knows what Nick might do if he was backed into a corner," Sonny asserted. He pointed out that Nick the computer genius could have fabricated the receipt. Sonny wanted to know if Will were going to talk to Hope about it, but Will wanted to talk to Gabi first to find out if she could prove or disprove Nick's alibi. Sonny and Will left for the hospital together.
E.J. approached Nurse Carla outside Rafe's hospital room and asked how Rafe was doing. She was reluctant to give out information to E.J., since he wasn't family. When E.J. pointed out that he was on the board and his family had donated a great deal of money to the hospital, Carla relented and informed him that Rafe's condition had not changed.
A man carrying flowers appeared in the hallway nearby and made eye contact with E.J. The man walked away, and E.J. followed.
Nick arrived at the hospital and asked Carla where Gabi was. Carla replied that she hadn't seen Gabi in a while. Although he was startled, Nick played it cool when E.J. greeted him. After an uncomfortable exchange, E.J. urged Nick to take good care of Gabi. Nick countered that it was not really E.J.'s concern, pointing out, "Besides, you know the arrangement that I have with Will. That matter is settled."
Just then, Gabi emerged from the elevator. She seemed dismayed when she saw E.J. and Nick talking. After encouraging Gabi to call him if she needed anything, E.J. left. Nick asked where Gabi had been, and she explained that she had gone to see Hope -- and Gabi had learned that the police hadn't found a bakery bag at the crime scene. She reminded Nick that he had gotten her the same kind of muffin that Rafe was supposed to have been taking to her.
Gabi added that Rafe had told her that he'd had something important to tell her about Nick. She asked if Nick knew what it was, but he lied that he had no idea. "Wait -- you don't think that I had anything to do with what happened to Rafe, do you?" Nick asked worriedly.
Will and Sonny arrived just then and asked how Rafe was doing. Nick replied that there had been no change, but he and Gabi needed to step outside to talk privately. As Nick led his reluctant wife away, the man with the flowers rounded the corner again. He stuffed the bouquet into a wastebasket and left. Sonny and Will agreed that what they'd witnessed between Gabi and Nick had been "a little off." Will noted that they could try to follow Nick and Gabi to find out what was going on, so Sonny and Will hurried out.
Sami sat alone at Common Grounds, sipping coffee and remembering some of the angry things that E.J. had said about Rafe -- and the violent things that E.J. had done to Rafe. E.J. arrived and startled Sami out of her thoughts. He greeted his fiancée with a kiss but quickly observed that something was bothering her. Sami got right to the point. "I want you to be straight with me: Did you have something to do with what happened to Rafe?" she asked.
As they walked through the square together, Nick tried to convince Gabi that the business with the muffins had merely been a coincidence. He insisted that when he had passed the bakery, he'd thought about all the times when Gabi had craved one of the muffins from there. Gabi pointed out, "The only reason that Rafe would have to, you know, go through that alley was if he had already stopped at the bakery and got me a muffin."
Just then, the mysterious man from the hospital showed up and greeted Nick by name. "It's funny; I recognized you even from behind. It's been a while, hasn't it?" the man said. When Gabi recognized the man from the pub, he somewhat sardonically noted that it was nice to be noticed. A clearly edgy Nick tried to escort Gabi away, but the man stopped them. His hand in his pocket, he pointed what looked like a gun at them.
"You and I, we have a lot of catching up to do. Looks like you've been busy. Don't you think we should go somewhere a little bit more private?" the man asked after eyeing Gabi's pregnant belly. Gabi asked Nick what was going on. "Jensen and I need to have a little talk. I'll catch up with you later," Nick told her as he tried to steer her out of the square -- but Jensen wouldn't hear of it. "I'm sure the pretty woman would love to hear all the things I have to say," Jensen declared ominously.
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