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 Recaps for The week of December 23, 2013
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Monday, December 23, 2013
by Mike

Rafe pulled Jordan into his lap and kissed her, but she pulled away when she noticed that someone was watching them. Rafe sighed with irritation and demanded to know what Stefano wanted. Stefano apologized for the intrusion and introduced himself to Jordan. Jordan shook Stefano's hand, and Rafe quietly advised her to wash her hands with antibacterial soap right away.

Ignoring Rafe's comment, Stefano explained that he had promised God earlier that year that he would make amends for his sins if God chose to spare Chad's life. Rafe impatiently stated that he couldn't care less about the deal that Stefano had made with God. Rafe's reaction didn't surprise Stefano, who agreed to leave after adding that he was sincerely happy to see that Rafe's recovery was going well.

After Stefano left, Rafe summarized that Jordan had just met the one person he had been hoping that she would never have to meet. Jordan pointed out that Stefano's apology had seemed sincere, but Rafe countered that he could give her a list of people who had made that same assumption about Stefano in the past -- most of whom were dead. Jordan tried to find out what Stefano had been apologizing for doing to Rafe, but Rafe admitted that he didn't really want her to know the answer to that question.

As Rafe ranted about Stefano, Jordan suggested that Rafe might need to thank Stefano, since Rafe's anger toward Stefano was what had made Rafe's recovery possible in the first place. "That anger? That hatred? That's what got you out of the hospital bed to here. That's what's going to get you out of that chair and back to your job -- that anger [and] that hatred that makes you keep fighting and fighting, no matter what they throw at you," Jordan passionately summarized, prompting Rafe to wonder if they were still talking about his anger and hatred.

Jordan evasively stated that she had simply read a lot about motivation for the sake of her clients, but Rafe wasn't convinced and urged her to tell him about the events in her own life that had taught her about the motivating effects of true anger and hatred. Rafe clarified that he wasn't trying to pry and that he simply wanted to know more about Jordan, but she insisted that there was nothing to tell. Jordan abruptly excused herself, informing Rafe that he probably wouldn't see her again until after Christmas, since she wanted him to be able to spend the holiday with his family. Rafe started to protest, but Jordan refused to change her mind and left before he could even finish saying farewell to her. Later, in Jordan's apartment, Jordan sent an email to someone to let them know that she was doing well in Salem.

At the Horton Town Square, Lucas suggested that it would probably be best to take another photograph of Will, Sonny, Gabi, Kate, and Arianna with Santa, since Sonny, Gabi, and Kate had each stopped smiling right before the first photograph had been taken. As Will inspected the preview image on Lucas' digital camera, Kate and Gabi quietly confirmed Sonny's suspicion that the man who was dressed as Santa was the same man who had encountered Gabi, Sami, and Kate in the park on the night that the group had disposed of Nick's body.

As the man mused that his latest chance encounter with Kate and Gabi was proof that the world was indeed quite small, Will announced that the group was going to have to get their photograph taken again, since he was the only person who could be seen smiling in the original image. Sonny suggested that it would be nice to find someone else to operate the camera so that Lucas could be included in the picture, so Will approached a random stranger and tapped the man on the shoulder.

Gabi gasped in horror when she saw the man's face, but Kate quietly urged her to smile and act like nothing was wrong. Sonny assured Gabi that the man wasn't Nick, and she nodded as she identified the man as Rafe's new physical therapist, Pete. Pete waited for Will to rejoin the group before instructing everyone to smile. "Right -- just like you were smiling down by the river that night," the birdwatcher said as Pete took the photograph.

Will sighed as he inspected the preview image of the new photograph and announced that Sonny, Gabi, and Kate still weren't exuding the spirit of the holiday season. Pete agreed to take one more picture for Will, although he was starting to doubt that Will's family members actually knew how to smile. "I know -- we're dealing with some demons here," Will said with an uncomfortable laugh as he rejoined his family.

Sonny, Gabi, and Kate plastered fake smiles on their faces as Pete took the third photograph. Will was hopeful that the third time would be the charm, but when he went to inspect the image, Pete informed him that it looked like Sonny, Kate, and Gabi were each suffering from the effects of indigestion. Choosing to admit defeat, Will thanked Pete for the help and apologized to Santa for the trouble. The birdwatcher acknowledged that the holidays could be a stressful time for some people, and Will nodded in agreement.

Will started to ask about the odd comment that Santa had made right before the second photograph had been taken, but Kate interrupted and suggested that it would be nice for Sonny to take a picture of Will, Lucas, and Arianna standing next to one of Santa's elves. Once Kate and Gabi were alone with the birdwatcher, Kate quietly informed him that she didn't want her family to know that she had previously encountered the birdwatcher while spying on her ex-boyfriend near the river, since the whole situation had been kind of embarrassing for her. The birdwatcher cheerfully promised Kate that her secret was safe with him.

The birdwatcher casually asked the women about their blonde friend's noticeable absence, and Kate somewhat irritably replied that she didn't know where Sami was because they didn't travel as a pack. The birdwatcher pleasantly asked Kate to give Sami his best wishes, and Kate dismissively advised the birdwatcher to refrain from working too hard on Christmas Eve. As Kate and Gabi walked away, Sonny joined them and quietly asked if everything was all right. Kate was confident that the birdwatcher didn't know anything about what she, Gabi, and Sami had really been doing at the river on the night that they had encountered him, but Sonny wasn't entirely convinced.

Later, Kate, Gabi, and Sonny emerged from a nearby restaurant with cups of hot chocolate for everyone. "Just what I needed -- a nice, stiff cocoa," Kate dryly muttered. Will and Lucas were playing with Arianna nearby, and Kate pointedly informed Sonny that he couldn't tell anyone the truth about Nick because doing so would ruin Will's happiness. Meanwhile, Gabi nervously stared at the birdwatcher, admitting that he was starting to creep her out. Sonny assured Gabi that the man was harmless, but she countered that she, Kate, and Sami were also harmless -- and capable of murder. Sonny and Kate quickly shushed Gabi as the birdwatcher waved at them.

Later, as Will held Arianna and watched her play with an empty cup, he told Sonny and Gabi that he had been thinking about something earlier. Sonny wasn't surprised, joking that he had smelled something burning earlier. Will laughed and elaborated that he had been thinking about how different things had been the previous Christmas. Will was glad that all of the stuff that had happened the previous Christmas was behind him and that Nick was out of the picture for good. Will mused that it seemed like Nick had finally gotten the message in the end, even if Gabi had been forced to pound that message into Nick's head.

"What I'm trying to say is I think the three of us -- I mean, the four of us -- make a very good, if unusual, family unit," Will concluded. Sonny agreed, and Will added that Sonny and Gabi were even getting along with each other for once. Sonny nodded and theorized that some recent shared experiences had allowed him and Gabi to bond with each other.

Elsewhere, Lucas asked Kate to explain what Santa had been talking about just before the second photograph had been taken earlier. Kate shrugged unknowingly and suggested that Santa might have simply consumed too many glasses of peppermint schnapps that day. Meanwhile, Kate received a phone call from someone at Mad World's Stockholm office, so she excused herself so that she could go to a quieter area to answer the call.

At the Brady Pub, Hope greeted Abe, who was watching Ciara build a gingerbread house while Theo was upstairs with Kayla and Joey. Hope told Abe about her earlier conversation with Sami and admitted that, while she couldn't think of any reason for Sami to lie about how the earring had ended up near the river in the first place, something about the situation simply wasn't adding up.

Changing the subject, Abe admitted that he was actually looking forward to Christmas -- something that he had been unable to say the previous year, since that Christmas had been his and Theo's first Christmas without Lexie. Hope grasped Abe's arm and revealed that Ciara was about to spend her first Christmas without Bo -- a fact that Ciara had not yet learned because Hope didn't know how to break the news to her.

Hope received a phone call from Rafe, who told her about Stefano's earlier visit. After ending the call, Hope asked Abe to watch Ciara for a while longer, explaining that Theo's grandfather was back in Salem and had a lot of questions to answer about Kristen's disappearance. Later, after Hope left, Abe asked Ciara to make a list of all of the things that she wanted for Christmas. "All I want for Christmas is for my daddy to come home," Ciara replied.

In Hope's office at the police station, Hope thanked Stefano for agreeing to talk to her. Stefano laughed heartily when Hope explained that she wanted to ask him some questions about Kristen. "I mean, my feeling is that drugging priests -- seducing them -- isn't really a sign of independence, now, is it? Kind of depraved, actually. Do you think women have Oedipal complexes? Sleeping with Father?" Hope mused.

Stefano smiled and wondered if Hope was trying to rile him. Hope shrugged and said that she was simply trying to figure out how Kristen's mind worked. Hope wondered if Kristen had confided in Stefano, and he sarcastically confirmed that he and Kristen had discussed the matter in great detail and that he had even helped Kristen purchase a camera so that she could film her sexual encounter with Eric. Unamused, Hope pointed out that the situation wasn't a laughing matter for Eric. Stefano conceded the point, but he added that Kristen had paid dearly for her actions. Hope countered that heartbreak wasn't exactly the same as prison time.

Stefano assured Hope that Kristen had not contacted him and that he didn't know where Kristen was. "If that's all there is, Christmas is a very, very important time, and I have to get some coal for my children's stockings. You do know, don't you -- as a parent -- that we cannot control our children or where they go, hmm? All we can do is love them and protect them, and hope that if they come across some difficult situation, they will make the right choice," Stefano mused. Hope sarcastically thanked Stefano for sharing his inspirational philosophy on parenting with her. Stefano nodded and left after clarifying that his discussion with Hope had been off-the-record.

Later, in a secluded section of Horton Town Square, Stefano ran into Kate. When Stefano realized that Kate was talking to someone in Stockholm, he mused that he could still remember the trip that they had taken to that place, but she replied that she had forgotten all about it. Stefano laughed and suggested that he and Kate could get together the following week to have the dinner that Chad had wanted them to have -- the one where she would be able to tell Stefano exactly what she thought of him. "I didn't agree to that dinner! I'm not going to that dinner!" Kate shouted as Stefano walked away.

Lucas arrived in time to hear Kate's protests, and she confirmed his suspicion that she had been talking to Stefano. Kate muttered that, while Stefano liked to believe that he was really clever, she knew him too well. "Then you know to stay away from him," Lucas said before walking away, but Kate seemed uncertain.

Hope returned to the Brady Pub and sadly informed Ciara that Bo wouldn't be home for Christmas that year because he was working on something that was very important. Hope hugged Ciara and started to say that Bo loved Ciara very much, but Ciara interrupted and said that she wanted to go home because she was tired. "Yeah, I know you are, sweetie. I know you are. So am I. So. Am. I," Hope admitted.

At the DiMera mansion, Sami innocently pointed out that the leather identification badge that E.J. had found near the river could have belonged to anyone. "Oh, anyone -- yeah, I would imagine. Well, anybody with the initials 'N.F.' -- you know, like Nick Fallon," E.J. suspiciously replied. Sami indignantly chastised E.J. for making her feel like a suspect with some flimsy evidence that he had found while pretending to be Sherlock Holmes, but he pointed out that her admirable attempt at deflection had failed to explain the existence of the leather identification badge.

"It doesn't need explanation, E.J. It is just a thing with the initials 'N.F.' on it. It could be anyone's, and you have no idea how it ended up there. I mean, it could be...Nathan Fillion's," Sami suggested. E.J. -- who didn't recognize the actor's name -- still wasn't satisfied with Sami's explanation, so he provided a different theory -- that Nick had "nicked" the earring and had later inadvertently dropped it near the river. "You know what? You're right. That never even occurred to me. Maybe he was following me. He was such a creep, you know? I mean, he was always lurking around," Sami quickly agreed.

E.J. curiously observed that Sami had referred to Nick in the past tense, but she dismissively clarified that she had chosen that phrasing because Nick was no longer living in Salem. Playing along, E.J. grabbed the house phone so that he could share the new theory about the earring with Hope, but Sami quickly stopped him from making the call. Certain that Sami had lied to Hope about the earring earlier, E.J. demanded an explanation, but Sami remained evasive, musing that he would know all about lying because he had recently lied about what Kristen had done to Eric. E.J. warned Sami to refrain from trying to change the subject, but she innocently reminded him that lying was the subject.

E.J. impatiently offered Sami one final chance to give him a satisfactory explanation that would convince him to change his mind about contacting Hope. Sami sighed and reluctantly agreed to tell E.J. everything, stressing that she would have shared the details with him earlier if he hadn't broken her trust when he had betrayed her in order to protect Kristen. E.J. advised Sami to stick to the facts, so she claimed that she had confronted Nick in the park after learning that Nick had secured a modeling job for Gabi in an effort to trick Gabi into moving to New York with him. "Really? Did you? Somebody videotape it?" E.J. jokingly asked.

Unamused, Sami resumed her story, claiming that Nick had gotten away from her and that she had followed him to the river, where a struggle had ensued. Sami assumed that she and Nick had lost their respective possessions in the struggle, and she claimed that she didn't want to tell Hope about the encounter because she didn't want Hope to know that Nick had gone off the rails again. E.J. wondered if Sami was talking about the night that she had returned to the mansion, looking disheveled. Sami confirmed E.J.'s suspicion and concluded that he finally knew the whole story, but he was still skeptical.

"E.J., what do you care? I mean, you know what kind of man he was," Sami impatiently asked, prompting E.J. to observe that she had once again referred to Nick in the past tense. Sami reminded E.J. that she had already explained why she was using that phrasing, but he was certain that there was more to the story. "Oh, my God, Samantha. It's been barely six months since Joseph Bernardi died at your hands. Please tell me you didn't kill Nick Fallon!" E.J. shouted as Sami nervously tried to avoid making eye contact with him.

Sami indignantly protested that her gunshot wound wasn't what had killed Bernardi, but E.J. noticed that she hadn't denied his accusation about killing Nick. E.J. wondered why Sami hadn't asked him or the police for help instead of taking matters into her own hands when Nick had attacked her. Before Sami could respond, E.J. suddenly remembered that Gabi knew Sami's secret. Sami evasively claimed that she didn't know what E.J. was talking about, but he grabbed her arm, insisted that it was time for her to stop playing games, and demanded to know how Gabi had figured out what had happened to Nick.

"Because she was there! Because we did it -- we killed him!" Sami admitted. Sami proceeded to tell E.J. about everything that had happened, concluding that no one was ever going to find Nick's body because the current had swept it away. E.J. wasn't as confident that Nick's body would never be found, but Sami nervously insisted that she didn't want to entertain the other possibility. E.J. muttered that the facts made Gabi's recent nervousness much more understandable. "No, we have been doing a really good job of keeping her calm," Sami protested without a hint of irony, prompting E.J. to wonder who was helping her keep Gabi calm.

Sami clarified that Kate had also been involved, and she stressed that the whole thing had actually been Kate's idea. "Was anybody else there, Samantha? Your grandmother? Ciara?" E.J. asked. Sami insisted that the situation wasn't funny, and E.J. quickly agreed, adding that he couldn't believe that the women had really convinced themselves that they were going to get away with what they had done. "Well, I think we have a really good chance of getting away with it, yes. I mean, none of us are gonna say anything. I mean, Sonny's a bit of a wild card, but --" Sami started to say, but E.J. interrupted and asked her to explain how Sonny had gotten involved.

Sami answered E.J.'s question and assured him that Will didn't know about what had happened to Nick. E.J. pointed out that Nick's family was eventually going to get worried when Nick failed to contact them to let them know how he was doing, but Sami assured E.J. that Kate had already handled that situation with some text messages from Nick's cell phone. E.J. warned Sami that Nick's family members would eventually want to see Nick or talk to him, but she wasn't convinced, reasoning that Nick had burned a lot of bridges and that his family would probably be happy to let him fade away. "This problem, Samantha, is not going to fade away. Nick Fallon is not just going to fade away," E.J. assured Sami.

Sami remained convinced that Nick's body would never be discovered. Sami apologized for hiding the truth from E.J., explaining that she had only done so because it had happened right after he had lied to her about what had happened to Kristen. E.J. mused with admiration that Sami had really been prepared to handle the whole thing on her own, and he hugged her as he assured her that she would never be on her own because she would always have his support and protection.

"Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! I am ba-ack!" Stefano cheerfully stated as he entered the living room.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In the Horton house, Abigail and Jennifer decorated the living room for Christmas. Doug and Julie arrived at the house, and Doug gave Jennifer a gift. Julie thanked Jennifer for asking Maggie to live at the Horton house. Doug said he was surprised by Victor's cruelty, but Julie said that it was no shock to her.

"Men like Victor Kiriakis do not change. I'm sorry I ever believed otherwise. It's like Daniel," Julie said. Doug hinted that Julie should change the subject, and Julie apologized to Jennifer for mentioning Daniel's name. As Julie told Jennifer that Jennifer was lucky to have seen Daniel's true colors before making a commitment to him, J.J. walked down the stairs and shifted his eyes guiltily.

J.J. asked Julie about her trip, and Julie noted that she would tell her travel stories on Christmas. Julie told J.J. that she believed in him and that she believed he would turn his life around. Smiling, Jennifer said that J.J. had turned his life around and that she was proud of him.

While J.J. placed a brown bag in his backpack in the hallway, Abigail called out to her brother from the living room. While Julie, Doug, and Jennifer were in the kitchen, Abigail noted that Julie had given Jack a hard time during his days as a journalist.

Abigail joked that it was impossible to remain mad at Jack and that he and Julie had always made up after they had fought. Melancholy, J.J. admitted that he missed Jack, and Abigail agreed. When Doug, Julie, and Jennifer returned to the living room, they asked J.J. to play his guitar. While J.J. played "Silent Night," the family stood and listened.

In the Kiriakis living room, Brady read a Christmas card from John. Annoyed, Brady took a vial of drugs out of his pocket and snorted some. As Brady cleaned up the mess of white powder on the coffee table, the doorbell rang. Brady opened the door and found Nicole.

"Look at you, Brady. I know what you've been doing, and you've got to stop," Nicole said as she breezed past Brady and walked into the living room. Nicole accused Brady of hiding from his family. With a smile, Nicole said that she had a present for Brady. Brady told Nicole to return her gift and leave him alone. Unfazed, Nicole asked Brady to go out with her. Brady asked Nicole if she was the gift. Nicole smiled and suggested that they spend the evening together. Brady declined, noting his sour mood.

After Nicole left, Brady pulled out the vial of drugs again. After Brady finished snorting his drugs, Henderson entered the living room, carrying a gift bag of presents. Henderson reminded Brady that Brady had previously purchased the gifts. Brady reached in the bag and pulled out a gift for Henderson. As Brady handed the box to Henderson, he told Henderson to take the day off.

Alone in the house, Brady removed presents from the bag and placed them under the tree. As Brady grabbed the last present, he saw Kristen's name on the tag. Brady threw the present into the fire.

"I can't do this anymore," Brady whispered, wild-eyed. Brady wrote a note to John that read, "I'm sorry I couldn't stick around. Merry Christmas." Brady looked at Kristen's present burning in the fireplace, then he grabbed his coat and left.

Maggie stopped by Daniel's apartment to take Parker home from Chloe's house. Parker leaped into Daniel's arms. Maggie explained that Chloe had said that the best Christmas present Parker could give Daniel would be to spend Christmas with him. Smiling, Daniel thanked Maggie for helping with the surprise. Maggie kissed her two boys and left.

In Club TBD, Marlena thought about when she had given vestments to Eric and then she thought about when Eric had ripped the vestments off and had thrown them to the ground. As Marlena shook off the memory, Roman greeted her. Roman urged Marlena to give Eric space, but she worried aloud about her son.

At the Church, Eric met with Father Matt to talk about a dream. Eric explained that he had dreamed he had seen Nicole with another man and that she had closed a door in Eric's face. Eric admitted that he felt saddened by the dream. Father Matt suggested that Eric's dream meant that Nicole was moving on with her life. Father Matt informed Eric that he was welcome at the church for mass whether he was a priest or not.

In the DiMera house, Johnny rushed into the living room and tackled Sami as she sat on the couch. As E.J. walked into the room, Sami asked Johnny to get ready for midnight mass at the church. While Johnny went upstairs to help his sister get dressed, E.J. closed the door to the living room to talk privately with Sami. E.J. asked Sami why she did not trust him after he had given up his fortune in order to help her during the Bernardi trial.

"Nick Fallon, even in death, is not going to destroy our future," E.J. said. Sami worried that the secret would be revealed. E.J. suggested that Sami not tell any of her co-conspirators that he knew the full story about Nick's murder. As Sami nodded, Abe opened the door to the living room and Theo walked in. E.J. thanked Abe for bringing Theo over for a visit.

Theo apologized to Sami for giving her earring to Ciara. Curious, Stefano asked what earring Theo was talking about. Abe explained that Theo had found Sami's earring by the river. As Stefano started to ask about the earring, E.J. interrupted and thanked Theo. E.J. told Theo that he had a present for the boy. When Theo's eyes lit up, Stefano told Theo that the present was in the study. Smiling, E.J. said the present was too large to fit under the tree.

As Abe, Theo, and Stefano walked down the hall to the study, Sami whispered to E.J. that Stefano had looked suspicious. E.J. cautioned Sami that Stefano was concerned that Sami had been careless with her jewelry rather than anything else. E.J. warned Sami to wipe the guilty look off of her face.

After looking at his present in the study, Theo admitted to Abe and Stefano that though the present was the largest he had received, it was not the best. Theo explained, "Mom said that the best gift was family." Stefano noted that Lexie had always been right.

In the living room, Sami received a text message from Lucas with a picture of Arianna's first trip to see Santa. As E.J. looked at the photo, he asked what was wrong with Gabi, Sonny, and Kate in the picture. Sami gasped. When E.J. asked what was wrong, Sami explained that the man dressed as Santa in the photo had been in the woods by the river the night of Nick's murder. E.J. was bothered that Sami had not mentioned the man at the river sooner.

Sami explained to E.J. what had happened. Furious, E.J. noted the man could place Sami, Kate, and Gabi at the scene of the crime. Sami said that the man had not seen Nick's body, but that that the man had seen Gabi with the backpack. Sami added that the man had mentioned the backpack when she, Kate, and Gabi had run into the man in the town square. As E.J. raised his eyebrows, Sami informed him that Kate had told the man that they had been by the river, spying on Kate's cheating boyfriend.

When E.J. noted that Kate did not have a boyfriend, Sami conceded that E.J. had a point. E.J. worried aloud about the situation with the bird-watching man. As Sami sighed in frustration, E.J. hugged her tightly and promised that everything would be fine. "We will get through this together," E.J. said. As Sami buried her face in E.J.'s shoulder, he shook his head in dismay.

When the kids ran into the living room, E.J. and Sami helped them put on their coats. E.J. explained that he would not be able to join them at mass because someone needed to be home to greet Santa. As the kids walked into the foyer, E.J. whispered to Sami that the bicycle he had purchased for the kids was in 86 pieces. Smiling, Sami wished E.J. luck with the construction of the bike. E.J. hugged the kids, and Sami wished E.J. a happy Christmas.

As E.J. stared at the front door, Stefano asked E.J. what was wrong. E.J. confided that he believed Johnny did not believe in Santa anymore. Stefano promised to talk to Johnny. Nodding, E.J. said he was surprised that Stefano wanted Johnny to believe in anything other than Stefano. Stefano said that he had kept his promise to God and had offered to make peace with everyone. When E.J. asked if anyone believed Stefano, Stefano admitted that Rafe was reluctant to accept his apology.

While Stefano enjoyed a drink by the fire, E.J. looked at a text message from Sami with a photo of her and the kids that read, "WE LOVE YOU!" E.J. sighed. E.J. texted back, "I love you, too!"

In the town square, Victor sat on a bench and cradled a wrapped present in his hands. Victor thought about when he had proposed to Maggie and when she had told him that their marriage was over. Victor sighed and walked over to the Horton house. Victor arrived just as Maggie started to walk through the front door. Victor stopped Maggie and asked her to talk for a moment.

Victor and Maggie walked to a nearby park and he handed her a gift. Maggie was reluctant to open the gift, but Victor insisted. When Maggie opened the box, she found a letter of apology. "Do you really mean this?" Maggie asked. "From the bottom of my Grinchy heart," Victor responded. Victor said he had been wrong. Victor apologized for hurting people.

When Maggie reminded Victor that he had said he would have played the DVD at the wedding if he had to repeat history, Victor shook his head and said he would not hurt everyone again. When Maggie asked what had changed his mind, Victor said it had been Maggie. Maggie wondered aloud if Victor would have changed his mind if she had stayed in his house. Victor admitted that he was a stubborn old man and that he was sorry for what he had done.

"I would do everything in my power to make this right. Give me that chance," Victor said. Maggie squeezed Victor's hand and smiled sadly at him. "I knew that the man that I loved was in there somewhere," Maggie said. Victor promised to do whatever Maggie wanted, and she agreed to return home. Victor and Maggie kissed.

In the Horton living room, Julie wondered aloud where Maggie was hiding. Julie worried that Maggie was avoiding her so that she would not hear Julie tell her that she had been right about Victor. Julie added to Abigail that Abigail did not want to hear that Julie was right about Chad as well. Abigail nodded. Julie urged Abigail to concentrate on her life. Nervous, Abigail went into the kitchen with Julie in pursuit.

Jennifer sat on the couch with Doug, and they talked about J.J. When Doug asked why J.J. had left after singing, Jennifer laughed and said that they would sing with J.J. when he returned to the house.

When Nicole arrived at Daniel's apartment, she gave Parker a big hug. Daniel invited Nicole to help them make cookies. With a grin, Nicole asked Parker if he would like to open his present from her. Parker nodded. When Parker opened the box, he found a plastic fishing pole. Excited, Parker thanked Nicole for the gift.

After Nicole left, J.J. knocked on Daniel's door and begged to talk to him. J.J. pulled the brown paper bag out of his backpack and handed it to Parker. When Parker opened the bag, he pulled out a toy train engine to replace the one that J.J. had broken. Daniel asked J.J. to help bake cookies, but J.J. declined and wished Daniel a Merry Christmas.

Eric walked through the front door of the Brady Pub and saw Roman and Marlena across the room. As Marlena smiled at her son, he smiled back at her. Roman asked Eric if he would join them for mass. Eric declined, noting that he did not feel comfortable. Marlena told Eric that she loved him, and she wished him a merry Christmas. After Eric left, Marlena worried to Roman if Eric and Brady would be able to recover from Kristen's destruction.

Sami arrived at the pub with the children, and Sami told Marlena that E.J. was building Johnny's bike. Marlena told Sami that once she was married to E.J., he would need to be part of the family and its traditions. Sami nodded. Sami expressed her concern about Eric and Brady. Marlena admitted that neither Brady nor Eric would be joining them at mass. Sami told Marlena that the rift in the family was not Marlena's fault.

While Eric walked through the town square, he saw Nicole walking toward him. Eric asked her if she was Christmas shopping. Nicole explained that she had visited Daniel and Parker. When Nicole asked Eric if he was going to mass at St. Luke's, Eric shook his head. Nicole asked Eric if it was a mortal sin to skip Christmas Eve mass. He noted that he had not said that he was not going to mass.

"In that case, I have a crisp $20 for the offering plate at Holy Cross," Nicole said. Eric was surprised that Nicole was going to attend mass. Nicole said that she was inspired that Eric had maintained his faith despite all that had happened to him. When Nicole urged Eric to join her, he smiled.

When J.J. returned to the Horton house, he explained that he had run out to buy candy canes for the kids, and he also had called Grandma Jo. Jennifer smiled and said that she wished Jo and her husband Vern could have joined them for Christmas. As Jennifer wondered aloud about Maggie, Maggie walked into the living room, holding Victor's hand.

"I hope you don't mind an extra guest," Maggie said. "Well, speak of the devil," Julie quipped through gritted teeth. Jennifer noted that Victor was not a guest because he was family. As Jennifer hugged Victor, Julie whispered to Doug that someone's Christmas wish had been granted. "Mine did," Doug said as he kissed Julie.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Daniel and Parker opened presents on Christmas morning with Maggie and Victor at the Kiriakis mansion. Although Daniel understood why Brady had felt the need to be away for the holidays, Maggie thought it was the last thing Brady needed. When Victor left the room, Daniel whispered, "Did you bring it?" As Maggie jumped up and grabbed a beautifully decorated box from a side table, she whispered conspiratorially, "I feel like I've absconded with the crown jewels!" Daniel promised to take very good care of the contents of the box. "I know you will -- because if you don't, Julie will kill us both," Maggie warned him.

Allie spent Christmas morning at Will, Sonny, and Gabi's apartment. When Gabi spotted the picture that Lucas had sent from Arianna's first visit to Santa, she fretted to Sonny that "Santa" kept showing up everywhere she went, as if he knew what she'd done to Nick. Adrienne arrived with gifts for everyone and apologies from Justin, who was stuck in an airport. Adrienne started to refer to Arianna as her first grandchild but stopped herself before she got the actual word out. "Your grandchild," Will said. Adrienne was touched.

While Will and Sonny helped Arianna open some presents, Adrienne hugged Gabi. "Mommy's first Christmas is just as special as baby's," Adrienne asserted, producing a gift for Gabi, as well. Adrienne asked Gabi how she'd felt about Nick taking a job in New York to be closer to Gabi, before she'd turned down the modeling job. Gabi admitted that it had been upsetting, but she tried to sound cool as she pointed out, "You don't have to worry. I mean, he's gone." Adrienne looked puzzled.

As she walked through Horton Square, Kate spoke on the phone with Billie to wish her a merry Christmas. When she hung up, Kate found the flash drive that Nick had given to her, which had crashed the Mad World computer network. She marched over to a trash can and tossed the flash drive in it, muttering, "Goodbye and good riddance."

Lucas spotted Kate and overheard, and he immediately guessed that she'd just thrown out Nick's infamous flash drive. Kate explained that she had only kept the thing for so long because she had hoped the company could use it to salvage their files, but it hadn't helped. Lucas pointed out, "In the scheme of things, it's just the spring line, right? It's not like life or death."

Many of the Bradys -- Caroline, Sami, Eric, Roman, Kayla, Theresa, Johnny, and Sydney -- gathered for Christmas breakfast at the Brady Pub. Eric explained that he had gone to Mass the night before at Holy Cross because he hadn't wanted to make a scene at St. Luke's. Right after Kayla and Eric went upstairs to retrieve the gifts, Nicole arrived. Johnny and Sydney ran over to meet Nicole at the door with big hugs. After producing gifts for both kids, Nicole said that she hoped Sami didn't mind. Sami graciously said that it was all right.

While Johnny and Sydney opened their presents, Nicole divulged that she had gone to Christmas Eve services at Holy Cross, which surprised Sami a little. Sydney and Johnny thanked Nicole effusively for their presents and hugged her again. "I love you, Mommy Nicole," Sydney said innocently, while Sami rolled her eyes. After the kids had gone, Sami and Nicole exchanged testy words about Nicole's motives for inviting Eric to go to Holy Cross with her.

"You know, if you just give Eric some time, he might not be a priest for that much longer," Sami noted cynically. "I am trying to clear his name, for God's sake! I can't win with you, can I? You want me to help Eric, yet you don't want me to go anywhere near him," Nicole complained. She maintained that she hadn't wanted Eric to be alone on Christmas Eve, and Sami conceded that she hadn't wanted that, either. As Nicole left, Sami thanked her and wished her a merry Christmas.

Eric returned from upstairs just in time to see Nicole leave, so he followed her outside to invite her to stay for breakfast. Nicole politely declined, citing her plans with Daniel.

When Johnny accidentally beaned Theresa with a toy football, she offered to take him outside to show him how to throw it properly. Watching them head in back to get their coats, Caroline noted to Kayla, "See? I told you Theresa was settling down." Kayla wasn't entirely convinced.

Sami grumbled to Roman about Nicole going with Eric to Holy Cross. "Well, as Ma often says, 'The Lord works in mysterious ways,'" Roman said.

Eric went back inside just as the kids were heading outside with Theresa and Roman to play football. Sami assured Eric that he could have asked Nicole to stay. He informed his sister that Nicole had plans -- but he thanked Sami for not being too nasty to Nicole. Eric asked Sami why E.J. hadn't been at Mass the night before and why he wasn't at the pub. Eric hoped that he wasn't the cause of any problems between Sami and E.J.

Sami acknowledged that things with her and E.J. were "complicated" -- but they were trying to work through it. Theresa returned from outside, gushing about how cute Sami's kids were. "By the way, Johnny tells me that Santa used the same wrapping paper that his parents had last year," Theresa cautioned Sami, laughing. Sami tried not to look stricken when Caroline asked for Eric's help changing a fuse, something that had previously been Nick's job.

Later, Caroline was about to head out the door for the Hortons' when she realized that she'd left Kayla's pies in the kitchen and asked Theresa to retrieve them. Theresa tried to decline, since she didn't think Jennifer wanted her at the party, but Caroline insisted that Jennifer wanted Theresa to celebrate with them -- plus it was an old tradition with the Brady and Horton families.

Caroline was a little taken aback when Victor showed up just then, but she seemed to understand when he announced that he needed to talk to Eric in private. After Caroline and Theresa had gone, Victor apologized to Eric for his "huge error in judgment" in revealing the video at Brady and Kristen's wedding. Eric thanked Victor for trying to make amends. Victor offered to do anything he could to help Eric.

At Daniel's, Parker helped Daniel wrap a gift. "Do you think she's gonna like it?" Daniel asked. "Yeah," Parker replied, concentrating hard as he applied more tape to the package. A little later, they video-chatted with Melanie. When Nicole arrived, she was surprised when Parker rushed to greet her at the door, since she'd thought Daniel and Parker were spending the day at the Kiriakis mansion. After he explained that Victor and Maggie had been headed over to the Hortons', Daniel invited Nicole to join him and Parker.

Daniel opened the box he'd gotten from Maggie and revealed the Horton family ornaments for himself, Parker, and Melanie. Since Nicole already knew the significance of the ornaments, Daniel explained that he'd gotten them on loan from Maggie so as not to make things more difficult at the Hortons'. Nicole gladly accepted when Daniel asked if she wanted to help hang them. Afterward, Parker retrieved Nicole's gift: a star-shaped ornament with her name on it. "This is the nicest gift that anyone's ever given me," a touched Nicole said.

Later, Parker fell asleep across Nicole and Daniel's laps, snuggled under Nicole's faux leopard coat. "You know, sometimes the holidays you think are going to be the hardest, they turn out to be pretty good, after all," Daniel remarked. Nicole concurred.

At the Horton house, Julie, Doug, Jennifer, Abigail, and J.J. had just started to unpack the Horton family ornaments when Hope and Ciara arrived, and everyone exchanged warm embraces. Julie removed Mike's ornament from a box and revealed that Mike kept a palm tree in his hut to keep the family tradition alive where he was. Jennifer sad a little sadly that she wished her brother would join them for Christmas one year. Abigail reminded her mom, "When we hang the ornaments on the tree, it's like everybody is here with us."

Ciara, who had been listening intently to Abigail, tiptoed over to the box where her dad's ornament was, lifted his ornament out carefully, and hid it behind her back. Meanwhile, Doug expressed his displeasure to Hope that Bo hadn't been able to get away from his top-secret mission to return home for the holidays -- or even for Bo and Hope's anniversary. Hope admitted that despite how much she supported Bo's work, she really wished he were home for Ciara's sake.

"But Daddy is here," Ciara piped up. After repeating Abigail's words, Ciara said that they would just hang her daddy's ornament for him -- just like they did for Shawn and Zack -- and Bo would know that they were thinking of him. Hope hugged her daughter, reassuring her, "Of course he will, honey."

When Doug and Julie asked, Jennifer confirmed that she planned to read the Christmas story at the hospital again -- although she hinted that perhaps J.J. would like to do the honors.

Maggie and Victor arrived, and Abigail met them in the foyer with a plate of treats. Abigail explained that she had made them from Alice's recipe, which the family had thought had been lost forever until it had turned up. Tasting them, Maggie raved, "It takes me back thirty years! Such wonderful memories -- and so many more to make."

When Will, Sonny, and Gabi arrived, the family presented baby Arianna Grace with her own hand-painted Horton ornament. "You're official now," Will enthused. While Arianna and Sonny watched, Gabi and Will hung the ornament on the tree next to Gabi's, not far from Mike's and Billie's ornaments. Ciara hung her ball next to Hope's and Zack's, and Hope placed Bo's ornament near them. Doug and Julie smooched after hanging their ornaments together.

Jennifer smiled wistfully as she hung her ornament adjacent to Jack's, then Abigail and J.J. placed their ornaments in the Deveraux family grouping. Victor hung his ornament beneath Maggie and Mickey's, then Lucas and Allie placed their ornaments on the tree. The family beamed to see Tom and Alice's ornaments in their place of honor.

Later, Ciara groused to Allie, "I had to give back my earring that Theo gave to me because you blabbed my secret." Allie said that she was sorry, but Ciara snapped, "Apology not accepted."

Abigail noticed her mom frowning at her phone and asked what was going on. Jennifer explained that the food bank hadn't gotten the turkeys that she'd arranged to be delivered that day, so she had to go to the hospital to look for the purchase order. Jennifer left but promised to see her kids at the hospital Christmas party later.

Will explained to Arianna that it was a big honor to have an ornament on the tree, because Tom and Alice had started the tradition with their five children years earlier.

When Julie discovered that the family had somehow forgotten to hang Nick's ornament, she immediately hung it on the tree. Realizing that she hadn't heard a word from Nick since he'd moved to New York, Julie declared, "If he thinks he can just drop off the face of the earth, he's gotta think again!" Kate observed Gabi's worried reaction.

When Sami arrived, Gabi expressed her anxiety about what Julie had said and about continually running into "that creepy Santa guy." Kate and Sami tried to ease Gabi's worries.

Doug and Julie seemed surprised that Hope didn't plan to go to the hospital party. When Victor left the Hortons', Maggie kissed him goodbye at the door and assured him, "You are delivering the most important gift of all."

Wearing a tall red elf hat, Anne placed similar headwear on a staffer behind the nurses' station and promised forebodingly that the hospital Christmas party would be full of surprises. Maxine overheard and vowed to herself, "Not if I can help it." Anne asserted that the Christmas party would be fun for the children instead of boring like in previous years. Maxine cautioned Anne, "Ms. Milbauer, this party is a time-honored tradition that no one has ever dared complain about but you. If Tom Horton could hear you talking about fixing anything, especially as it pertains to Christmas, he would turn over in his grave."

Anne retorted that the hospital was not a shrine to Dr. Horton's memory or to his offspring. After warning Anne against trying to pull anything, Maxine yanked the elf hat off of Anne's head and ordered her to take the "ridiculous" thing off. As soon as Maxine's back was turned, Anne pulled the hat back on and muttered to herself about her sinister plan.

When Jennifer showed up, talking on the phone to someone at the food bank about the missing turkeys, Anne sarcastically noted to the nurse wearing the other elf hat, "Oh, gosh! I hope this little SNAFU doesn't keep Jennifer from gracing the party with her sunshiny presence!"

The children were already gathered around the Christmas tree when Julie arrived, dressed as Mrs. Claus, with J.J., Abigail, and Maggie in tow. Abigail told Kayla what was going on with Jennifer and the turkeys, but Kayla said that she'd gotten a thank-you email from the food bank. Just then, Anne entered, wearing an entire elf costume to match the hat, and announced that she would be reading a story to the "poor, sick children" in Jennifer's place. "But not the same old one you're tired of hearing every year," Anne promised the kids.

Before Anne could begin, Doug arrived in his Santa costume, much to the children's delight. "Santa" told Anne that she could go, and when she refused to budge, he simply shoved her out of the way. The kids agreed with Santa that they wanted to hear about the true meaning of Christmas. Since Jennifer wasn't around, Doug singled Abigail out to read the story. After much encouragement from Julie and J.J., a reluctant Abigail took her place between Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Abigail told the children how she'd been in the hospital on Christmas once many years earlier. Julie then handed the Bible to Abigail, who began to read the story of Christ's birth. The children sat in rapt attention, while the grownups listened -- and Anne scowled -- behind the nurses' station. Jennifer emerged from her office just in time to hear her daughter finish reading the story. Jennifer beamed proudly -- as did J.J., Maggie, Doug, Julie, Kayla, and even Maxine. Doug and Julie then led the assembled group in singing "Angels We Have Heard on High," while a disgusted and thwarted Anne rolled her eyes.

Back at the Horton house, Doug, Julie, and Jennifer praised Abigail's storytelling prowess. Everyone was relieved to hear that Jennifer had tracked down the missing poultry after someone had sent her on a "wild turkey chase." When Theresa showed up with Caroline, Abigail quietly expressed her irritation to Jennifer, who reminded her, "Honey, it is Christmas." After Hope greeted Theresa rather coldly, a wounded Theresa went to hang up her coat and ran into J.J. in the foyer.

"What the hell are you doing here?" J.J. hissed. Theresa simply took that opportunity to remind J.J. that he still hadn't gotten her what she wanted. "Either you do everything I say, or next year you'll be the hunky little partridge in some inmate's pear tree. Merry Christmas," Theresa chirped.

Abigail commended her mom for being "really cool" about welcoming Theresa into their home. "Well, 'cool' might be an overstatement," Jennifer admitted. Abigail observed that they hadn't hung Daniel's ornament that year. Jennifer explained that it had been his choice -- but she predicted that things wouldn't be so awkward the next year, because she was moving on -- and she hoped Daniel was, too.

Gabi nearly jumped out of her skin when the jack-in-the-box popped out of a toy the children were playing with. Sami and Kate warned Gabi that she couldn't keep freaking out at every little thing or else they would all be in deep trouble. Julie observed the three women with their heads together and asked Lucas, Will, and Sonny if Kate and Sami could possibly be bonding over being grandmothers before their time. "Stranger things have happened," Lucas remarked, then amended it, "Well, maybe not."

Maggie spoke for the whole family when she took Jennifer's hands and said, "We want to thank you for having us, and for being such a wonderful steward of Tom and Alice's home and their memory." Jennifer assured everyone, "This is our home. This home belongs to all of us." Maggie went around the room and acknowledged that the year had been one full of surprises, of new love and lasting love, full of grace, hope, and grief -- although their loved ones would always be with them, in their hearts, words, and deeds. "And one day in heaven, through the gift of a little child born two thousand years ago," Maggie said.

"It's faith that gets you through the hard times -- faith in God and in family, warts and all," Maggie continued. "Who has warts?" a confused Ciara demanded. As everyone laughed, Hope explained what Maggie had meant. "More than anything, we love you and we're here for you -- and each one of you, no matter how far or how near -- all the days of our lives. Happy holidays!" Maggie concluded.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013
by Mike

At the Horton house, Abigail entered the living room and presented Jennifer with a belated Christmas gift, explaining that it had arrived late because it had been ordered online. J.J. descended the staircase and eavesdropped from the foyer as Jennifer opened her gift -- a black dress that she declared was beautiful.

Abigail was glad that Jennifer liked the dress, and she pointed out that it had arrived just in time for Jennifer's date with Liam later that night. Abigail had a pair of black heels that she believed would look great with the dress, so she offered to let Jennifer borrow them. Abigail was momentarily concerned about Liam's height, but she decided that, based on what Adrienne had told her about him, he seemed like a great guy who probably wouldn't care if the heels gave Jennifer a height advantage.

Meanwhile, J.J. entered the living room, and Jennifer announced that she had cooked a big breakfast for him as a way of thanking him for helping Maggie move back into the Kiriakis mansion earlier that day. Jennifer regretfully added that Abigail had eaten J.J.'s share of the bacon and that there wasn't time to make another batch because Jennifer was late for work. As Jennifer grabbed her purse and jacket, Abigail suddenly decided that a pair of black boots would look better with Jennifer's new dress than the pair of black heels that Abigail had previously suggested. "Honey, I am your mom, not your Barbie doll," Jennifer teasingly replied.

After Jennifer left, J.J. demanded to know what was wrong with Abigail. Abigail assumed that J.J. was upset about the fact that she had eaten his share of the bacon earlier, but he clarified that he was talking about something that was far more important than bacon. "J.J., I know you. Nothing is more important to you than bacon," Abigail dryly replied.

J.J. started to explain that he was talking about what Abigail had said to Jennifer earlier, but before he could elaborate, Jennifer returned and announced that Maggie had left a tote bag behind. J.J. offered to take the tote bag to Maggie later, and he pointedly mused that it was great that she and Victor had found a way to reconcile with each other instead of simply giving up on their relationship. After agreeing that it was nice that there had been a happy ending to Victor and Maggie's story, Jennifer excused herself and exited the house.

Abigail mocked J.J. for the sappy things that he had just said to Jennifer, but he explained that he had been trying to make a point and undo the damage that Abigail had caused earlier. Abigail was still confused, so J.J. elaborated that she had made it seem like it was okay for Jennifer to go out with "that jerk," Liam. Abigail impatiently advised J.J. to grow up, insisting that he couldn't keep freaking out every time Jennifer went on a date with someone. "I'm not freaking out 'cause Mom has a date. It's because she has a date when she is still in love with Daniel," J.J. clarified.

Shocked, Abigail reminded J.J. that he had spent months doing everything that he could possibly do to ruin Jennifer's relationship with Daniel. "Okay, let me get this straight -- so, when Daniel was showing up with flowers and he was trying to help Mom deal with how screwed up you were, you hated him. But now that he has had a sleazy affair with Theresa Donovan, now he's Mr. Right?" Abigail incredulously summarized. J.J. pointed out that Daniel never would have hooked up with Theresa in the first place if J.J. hadn't interfered with Daniel's relationship with Jennifer, but Abigail asserted that J.J. couldn't blame himself for Daniel's poor choices.

J.J. wondered if he could ask Abigail about something that she probably didn't want to talk about, and she gave him permission to do so. J.J. wondered how Abigail had managed to find the courage to admit that she had lied about sleeping with Austin the previous year. Abigail clarified that she had never really found the courage to do so, adding that she had simply blurted out the truth because she had been unable to watch Jennifer and Jack attack Austin for doing something that she had known that Austin hadn't really done.

Abigail admitted that, while Jennifer and Jack hadn't been thrilled with her actions, they had still loved her in spite of them, and she mused that in a weird way, she had grown closer to them as a result of her actions. J.J. summarized that everything had worked out in the end, but Abigail clarified that, while he was basically correct, she had still hurt some really good people with her lies, and she admitted that she hated the fact that she had waited such a long time to reveal the truth.

Abigail wondered what had motivated J.J. to ask about that particular matter in the first place. Before J.J. could respond, Abigail received a phone call from Theo. After ending the call, Abigail apologetically excused herself so that she could go over to Abe's house to see Theo, who was really upset because she hadn't delivered on her promise to take him sledding. Abigail summarized that Theo apparently didn't understand that they couldn't go sledding until it snowed in Salem.

Abigail said that she wanted to continue her conversation with J.J. later. J.J. nodded and explained that he had simply been looking for confirmation that Jennifer was the forgiving type. J.J. suggested that if Jennifer could forgive him for the things that he had done, there might be a chance that she could also forgive Daniel, but Abigail laughed and insisted that Jennifer would never forgive Daniel.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady contacted his drug dealer and arranged to meet with him later that day. After ending the call, Brady eyed his nearly empty vial of cocaine, but before he could take another hit from it, he heard the front door close. Brady quickly pocketed the vial of cocaine, along with a credit card and a rolled-up dollar bill, and stood to greet Victor and Maggie as they entered the living room.

Maggie observed that it didn't seem like Brady was particularly happy to see her, but he claimed that he was simply surprised that she -- and her luggage -- had returned to the mansion. Victor happily summarized that Maggie's return was the best Christmas gift of all, adding that he and Brady were going to have to be on their best behavior for a while to ensure that her stay would be a permanent one.

Brady claimed that he was very happy for Victor and Maggie and that everyone who knew the couple wanted them to stay together, but he added that Victor didn't deserve Maggie. After protesting that everyone always seemed to take Maggie's side, Victor apologetically excused himself so that he could attend a hospital board meeting. Victor wondered if there was anything that he could pick up for Maggie while he was gone, such as flowers, diamonds, or preferred stocks. Maggie pointedly replied that Victor already knew what she wanted, and he nodded in agreement as he exited the mansion.

Maggie's comment piqued Brady's interest, so she clarified that she had instructed Victor to apologize to Eric and Marlena, the latter of whom had not yet received an apology. Brady pointedly started to say something before changing his mind and acknowledging that it was none of his business. Maggie encouraged Brady to continue, so he innocently mused that moving back into the mansion before Victor's promise had been completely fulfilled might have sent Victor the message that it was okay for him to change his mind about apologizing to Marlena.

Maggie appreciated Brady's concern, but she was certain that Victor would still apologize to Marlena -- not only because Maggie believed that Victor genuinely wanted to do so, but also because he knew that she would leave for good if he broke his promise. Brady nodded and started to excuse himself, claiming that he had a lot of things that he needed to do that day, but Maggie stopped him. Maggie reported that Victor had informed her that Brady had spent the holiday at a beach resort, and she wondered if everything was all right.

Brady claimed that he was fine and that he had simply needed to get away from everyone in Salem for a few days, but Maggie wasn't entirely convinced. Maggie recalled that Victor had mentioned that Brady had been absent from work for the past month, and she pointed out that it wasn't good for addicts to make such drastic changes to their routines while dealing with traumatic events. Maggie added that, while Victor might not be able to see the danger signs, she was a recovering addict and could clearly see them. Brady wondered what Maggie was really trying to say.

Maggie clarified that she wasn't trying to accuse Brady of anything or suggest that he had fallen off the wagon. Maggie recalled that, despite what Victor had said about Brady being absent from work lately, Brady had recently told Theresa that he couldn't take her to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting because he was busy with work. Brady clarified that, while he hadn't been going in to the office lately, he was still the CEO of Titan and had a lot of daily responsibilities that he had to handle.

Maggie nodded and admitted that it would probably be a good idea for her to attend a meeting, considering all of the things that she had gone through recently. Maggie suggested that she and Brady could attend a meeting together. "No!" Brady snapped, but he quickly apologized and admitted that his response had been much louder and much more forceful than he had intended. Brady informed Maggie that he wasn't attending meetings, but he insisted that he was fine and didn't need to do so, especially since Maggie had decided to move back into the mansion.

At the hospital, Theresa rushed into the waiting area and quietly informed Anne that Daniel was approaching. Anne wanted to know what she was supposed to say to Daniel, so Theresa shrugged and advised Anne to improvise. As Theresa dashed off, Daniel -- who was having a phone conversation with a lab technician named Donna about some things that he wanted her to look for when she was analyzing Eric's blood work -- rounded a corner and ended the call after thanking Donna for her help.

Sensing an opening, Anne guessed that Donna was Daniel's latest conquest. Anne wondered if Daniel had any shame at all, and in response, he muttered that he wished that he had a baseball bat. Anne indignantly demanded to know if Daniel was threatening her. "Do you ever get sick and tired of being you? I know I get sick and tired of you being you," Daniel replied, ignoring Anne's question.

Anne feigned amusement and countered that Daniel didn't have any room to judge her, since he had a nasty habit of sleeping with his female coworkers. Anne hoped that Daniel was at least using protection, since she had heard that one of his "skanky romps" had resulted in a daughter that he hadn't even known about until a few years earlier. Anne wondered how many other illegitimate children Daniel had unknowingly spawned over the years.

As Daniel started to warn Anne to back off, Theresa rushed to his defense, insisting that it wasn't fair for Anne to say such horrible things to the man who had saved Theresa's life. Turning away from Daniel to face Theresa, Anne snapped that Theresa had turned out to be a major disappointment. Anne stormed off after giving Theresa a playful wink.

Theresa sighed and said that she couldn't stand hearing Anne berate Daniel, but he insisted that he could handle Anne and that it would probably be best for Theresa to refrain from getting involved in the future. Theresa clarified that she knew that Daniel could handle Anne, adding that she simply felt like Anne's criticisms of him were also indirect criticisms of Theresa, whom Anne had been counting on to lie about him during his disciplinary hearing. Theresa admitted that she was certain that Anne wanted to fire her, but Daniel assured her that Anne had no grounds to do so.

Theresa was relieved to hear that, claiming that she had been really stressed out about the situation lately. Admitting that Daniel was practically her only friend in Salem, Theresa wondered if he had time to listen to her vent about everything for a few minutes. As Daniel started to agree, Victor interrupted and politely asked Theresa to give him some privacy so that he could talk to Daniel for a few minutes before the board meeting started.

After Theresa left, Daniel preemptively warned Victor not to say anything negative about her, but Victor clarified that after the way that Jennifer had treated Daniel, he fully supported Daniel's decision to move on with someone else. Daniel impatiently warned Victor not to say anything negative about Jennifer, either. Victor protested that Daniel needed to lighten up, adding that he simply wanted to thank Daniel for helping him realize that he had needed to swallow his pride and apologize to Maggie.

Meanwhile, in one of the break rooms, Theresa complained to Anne about the fact that Victor had ruined Theresa's attempt to manipulate Daniel. Theresa ranted that Victor had waltzed into the hospital and acted like he owned the place, prompting Anne to reply that he practically did own the place, since he was a multimillionaire who was one of the hospital's major donors. "Hmm. For some reason, my parents never liked him. How do you not like multimillionaires?" Theresa wondered, and Anne shrugged as she replied that some people were simply illogical.

Anne admitted that she often turned on the charm when Victor was nearby, hoping that he might one day decide to toss some cash her way when he finally died. Anne's comment caused Theresa to realize that Daniel was probably in Victor's will. Anne protested that Theresa was supposed to be going after Daniel to make Jennifer angry, not to snag a rich doctor, but Theresa countered that she was very good at multitasking.

Theresa unbuttoned the top two buttons of her shirt before going to track Daniel down again. When Theresa found Daniel, he apologetically informed her that they would have to continue their conversation some other time, since his shift was ending soon. Spotting Jennifer nearby, Theresa smiled and pointedly assured Daniel that they could get together at any time and place that worked for him.

After Daniel left, Theresa followed Jennifer to one of the break rooms and sweetly stated that she was grateful that Jennifer had allowed her to spend Christmas with the Hortons. "Well, it was Christmas. You're more than welcome. It's once a year. As long as you stay away from my son the other three hundred and sixty-four days," Jennifer replied. Theresa revealed that she knew that Jennifer had seen her talking to Daniel earlier, and she stressed that she and Daniel were just friends. Jennifer insisted that she didn't care one way or the other. "Yeah, right -- it's killing you. And now it's time to add to your pain," Theresa mischievously muttered after Jennifer left.

Elsewhere, Maxine tracked Jordan down in one of the break rooms and delivered a gift to her, explaining that Gabi had dropped it off earlier that day. Maxine recognized the gift box as the kind that a fancy boutique in the town square always used, and she knowingly mused that it was unlikely that Gabi had purchased a gift from that particular store for Jordan.

Maxine impatiently urged Jordan to open the gift, but Jordan insisted that, despite the fact that Rafe was no longer her patient, it was still completely inappropriate for her to accept such an expensive gift from him. "And here I thought you had loosened up a little bit," Maxine dryly muttered. Maxine quickly apologized for once again shooting off her big mouth, but Jordan insisted that she actually appreciated it when people said exactly what they were thinking. Jordan guessed that she probably seemed pretty uptight to Maxine, who was open and easy-going.

Maxine acknowledged that it still wasn't her place to judge Jordan, but Jordan understood that Maxine was simply trying to help. Jordan explained that the situation with Rafe was very complicated, but Maxine mused that in her experience, people usually said that sort of thing when they were scared. Jordan insisted that she wasn't scared of Rafe, but Maxine clarified that Jordan might be scared about the true nature of his feelings for Jordan. Maxine reasoned that Jordan might be worried that Rafe was confusing feelings of gratitude with feelings of a more romantic nature, and she suggested that Jordan might also be confused about her own feelings for Rafe.

Ending on a lighter note, Maxine pointed out that Rafe was seriously good-looking, and Jordan laughed as she agreed with Maxine's statement. Maxine advised Jordan to let Rafe know where things stood between them. As Maxine started to leave, Jordan acknowledged that Maxine did have a big mouth, adding that she was only telling Maxine that because friends could always tell each other the truth.

Rafe greeted Hope and Ciara as they entered his apartment. Hope observed that Rafe, who had opened and closed the apartment door on his own from a standing position, seemed even stronger than he had been when she and Ciara had visited him a few days earlier. Hope handed Rafe a stack of files as she added that she no longer felt guilty about giving him more work to do.

Ciara admired Rafe's Christmas tree and asked about his holiday. Rafe reported that his Christmas had been great because he had gotten to spend some time with Gabi and Arianna. Hope admitted that she was surprised that Jordan hadn't celebrated the holiday with Rafe. Rafe guessed that Jordan was avoiding him, since he hadn't heard from her at all in the past couple of days.

Ciara proudly informed Rafe that the exercises that he had taught her had helped her finally master the art of skating backward. Rafe high-fived Ciara as she added that she was no longer worried about her impending recital. Ciara wondered if Rafe wanted to see the outfit that Hope had helped her pick out for the recital, and when he agreed, Ciara grabbed her backpack and rushed off to the bathroom to change into the outfit.

Hope thanked Rafe, explaining that learning to skate backward had been incredibly important to Ciara and that mastering the technique had made Ciara's Christmas much better than it would have otherwise been. Rafe guessed that it had probably been difficult for Ciara to celebrate Christmas without Bo, and Hope confirmed his suspicion. Hope admitted that, while Ciara seemed okay, she was worried about the possibility that Ciara was simply suppressing her feelings. Hope added that when Ciara caused trouble, she no longer knew whether to hug and kiss Ciara or yell at her, since it simply wasn't fair for Ciara to go such a long time without any contact with Bo.

Rafe understood why Hope was upset, since it also wasn't fair for her to bear the full weight of the parenting responsibilities while Bo was gone. "I'm a cop. And I can look into my soul and know the lengths I would go to bring down DiMera. But I would never do this to her -- not my daughter. No way," Hope admitted with a sigh. Rafe wondered if Hope had said those things to Bo. "No. Nope, nope, nope. And a part of me just does not want to really, um -- not to engage with him right now. He's there, and we're here, and a part of me really doesn't know how I feel about any of it," Hope sadly replied.

Before Hope could say anything else, Ciara reentered the room and modeled her new outfit for Rafe, who observed that the only thing that was missing from the outfit was a gold medal. Ciara doubted that she could win the gold medal, but Rafe pointed out that she had also been convinced a few days earlier that she would never be able to skate backward. Ciara smiled and asked Rafe to attend her recital, and he assured her that he wouldn't dream of missing it.

Someone knocked on the apartment door, and Rafe declined Hope's offer to open the door for him, instead choosing to handle the task himself. When Rafe opened the door, Jordan started to blurt out that they needed to get a few things straight, but she stopped herself when she spotted Hope and Ciara. Hope greeted Jordan before quickly excusing herself so that she could take Ciara to an ice-skating lesson.

After Hope and Ciara left, Rafe joked that it was good to see that Christmas hadn't mellowed Jordan out at all. After apologizing for the interruption, Jordan tried to return Rafe's gift, insisting that it simply wasn't appropriate for her to accept something that had obviously been quite expensive, but he pointed out that she couldn't be certain of that fact until she actually opened the gift.

Jordan suspected that Rafe was simply hoping that she would like the gift enough to forget about the fact that it was inappropriate for her to accept it. Rafe impatiently advised Jordan to "stop talking and open the damn present," so she sighed with exasperation and reluctantly agreed to do so. Jordan tried to act unimpressed as she opened the gift box, but she smiled when she realized what was in the box -- a simple tee shirt that had the word coach printed on it in big, bold letters. Rafe joked that, while he had been forced to take out a loan to pay for the gift, he believed that it had been worth it.

Jordan realized that Rafe had just placed the shirt in the boutique's signature gift box to push her buttons and make her believe that it was a really expensive gift. Rafe admitted that he had never expected that she would refuse to open the gift. Jordan thanked Rafe for the gift and admitted that, while she had wanted to spend Christmas with him, she hadn't wanted to intrude on his time with his family.

Rafe pointed to some mistletoe and admitted that he had been waiting to put it to good use. Jordan was momentarily upset, assuming that Rafe had hung the mistletoe from the ceiling himself, but he clarified that Gabi had handled the task for him. Jordan reminded Rafe that Christmas had ended already, but he assured her that there wasn't an expiration date on the mistletoe tradition, and he leaned in to kiss her.

At the hospital, Hope approached Jennifer and suggested that they could eat lunch together. Jennifer warned that she was cranky and would be terrible company, but Hope was undeterred. Meanwhile, Liam approached and assured Jennifer that they were still going to have dinner together later that night.

At the Horton house, J.J. looked at Jennifer's new dress as he muttered that he needed to make things right between her and Daniel. Meanwhile, someone rang the doorbell, and when J.J. opened the door, he found Theresa standing outside. J.J. demanded to know what Theresa wanted. "Good news, Junior -- I've come to set you free," Theresa replied.

In a secluded section of the park, Brady met with his drug dealer and apologized for his tardiness. After concluding their business, the drug dealer informed Brady that he could offer Brady something that had more of a kick, but Brady declined the offer. The drug dealer walked away, but before Brady could leave, Daniel approached and wondered what he was doing. Brady claimed that he was simply getting some fresh air.

"Fresh air? Yeah? Bull. Don't lie to me -- I just saw you," Daniel knowingly replied.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

When Sami arrived downstairs at the DiMera mansion, dressed for work, E.J. instructed her to change clothes because they were going for a hike. Citing work obligations, Sami declined the invitation -- but then E.J. informed her that they were going down by the river. Sami was very reluctant to return to the river, but E.J. said that they needed to make sure no more evidence had been left behind. Although Sami dragged her feet, E.J. ordered her to change clothes while he got the SUV.

As Sami and E.J. arrived in the woods, E.J. produced two sets of binoculars so they could use bird-watching as their cover story if they ran into anyone. After instructing her to keep her voice down, E.J. asked Sami to tell him everything she remembered about that night. Sami recounted the main points of what had led to her arrival in the woods. "When I got here, Kate was comforting Gabi because she was freaking out, and Nick's body was, like, right there," Sami said, indicating some bushes.

E.J. knelt next to the bushes and quickly found a broken twig -- with blood on it. Sami scoffed, asserting that no one would have ever found it. E.J. found a torn piece of cloth snagged on a nearby bush. Sami sheepishly admitted that the fabric was the same color as Gabi's coat. As they continued on, Sami pointed out where they had hidden Nick's body when "the 'greetings' guy" had shown up. E.J. wanted to know if the man had seen anything. "He was a birdwatcher who moonlights as Santa Claus. I'm sure he's clueless," Sami asserted.

E.J. eyed the spot that Sami had indicated and was dismayed when he discovered drag marks on the ground. "That is not my fault! I was dragging the body; Gabi was supposed to be cleaning it up!" Sami insisted. She grabbed a dead branch and began covering the marks, complaining the whole time, but E.J. angrily reminded her that he was trying to keep Sami, Gabi, and Kate out of prison. When Sami was finished, E.J. ordered her to send a text message to Gabi to tell her to get rid of the coat and the other clothes she'd been wearing that night.

After Sami obligingly took out her phone, E.J. demanded that she follow him to the river. She refused, reminding E.J. that she had found the earring, and he had found Nick's tag, so everything was okay. E.J. hissed, "That was before I knew it was the site of a murder!" Sami pointed out that it hadn't been murder; Gabi had been defending herself -- which was exactly what Sami would have done in the same situation. Sami hit "send" on her phone and reluctantly followed E.J. in the direction of the river.

E.J. found more drag marks on the riverbank. As he scuffed dirt over them with his foot, Sami began to freak out. "I just can't do this right now. I cannot stay here," Sami said anxiously as she headed away from the river. E.J. prevented her from leaving by assuring her that they could leave as soon as they made sure there was nothing incriminating there. An unenthusiastic Sami returned to the bank to help E.J. cover the drag marks. She paused to gaze into the water -- and Nick's body popped to the surface. Sami screamed in terror.

When Will went to Club TBD to look for Sonny, T informed Will, "He left. He said he had something to take care of... It's probably for the New Year's bash." Will asked if T had noticed Sonny and Gabi acting strangely. Will added that while he didn't think Sonny was still planning a birthday party, Will believed that Sonny and Gabi were keeping something from him. T pointed out, "The perfect time to pull off a surprise party is when the guy who's getting surprised thinks it's off. Maybe it's back on."

As Gabi napped on the couch at the apartment, she had a nightmare about Nick. Sonny woke her up when she called out in her sleep, put his arms around her, and reassured her that everything would be all right. Gabi admitted that she awakened every morning with a knot in her stomach because she couldn't stop seeing Nick's face. Sonny pointed out that she had only been defending herself when Nick had attacked her, but Gabi reminded him that she had once loved Nick. Sonny maintained that had only been because she hadn't known the real Nick.

"I don't know how I'm going to live with this. You know, sometimes I just feel like it would be easier if I just turn myself in," Gabi said. She added that she would take her chances with a judge if it were just her, but she had to think about Arianna, as well as Kate and Sami. Gabi berated herself for falling in love with a convicted murderer, but Sonny urged her to stop beating herself up. He suggested that they take Arianna out for some fresh air to take Gabi's mind off things. Gabi was grateful that she had Sonny to talk to.

Soon, Gabi and Sonny were meandering through Horton Square with Arianna in a stroller. Sonny thought they should take advantage of the post-Christmas sales to buy clothes for Arianna and a birthday gift for Will. Noting that Sonny was being very nice to her, Gabi asked if he'd changed his mind about not telling anyone. "It's not my story to tell, and I don't want to do anything that could take Ari's mother away from her," Sonny assured Gabi -- while someone spied on them from behind a potted plant.

Gabi thanked Sonny for getting her out of the apartment and for letting her lean on him. She declared, "[Arianna] has two of the best daddies in the world." She added that she was glad that it was Sonny, not Nick, in Arianna's life.

Meanwhile, Gabi's cell phone was still on a table in the apartment, where it lit up with an incoming text message from Sami.

Someone was watching from outside when Sonny and Gabi returned home with a fussy Arianna. Sonny headed into the bedroom to get some diapers while Gabi shut the door, but she accidentally left it unlatched. A few minutes later, Gabi and Sonny emerged from the bedroom after putting Arianna down. Gabi guessed that the baby had been crying because she was teething. Gabi picked up her phone and read Sami's text, then explained for Sonny, "Sami says I have to burn my coat [...] because that was the coat I was wearing the night that I killed Nick." Gabi threw open the closet door -- revealing a perplexed Will.

In the park, Daniel informed Brady that he recognized the guy he'd just seen Brady with as a drug dealer. "His friends dumped him at the entrance to the ER. He was half-dead from an overdose," Daniel said, adding that he didn't buy Brady's story that he had just been out getting some air. Brady feigned reluctance as he divulged that he'd heard about the drug dealer from some people in an A.A. meeting.

After swearing Daniel to secrecy, Brady claimed that he had just confronted the "lowlife" because he'd seen the guy talking to J.J. Brady had seen through J.J.'s story and had told Jennifer about it. Brady claimed that when he'd run into the dealer again, he'd warned the guy to leave J.J. alone or else. Brady cautioned Daniel against mentioning their conversation to Jennifer or J.J., since Brady had not witnessed an actual drug deal. Daniel acknowledged that J.J.'s sentence could be more severe if he didn't stay out of trouble. Brady was confident that he had scared the dealer off.

Nicole was surprised when she arrived for work and found Eric waiting in her office -- especially when he informed her that he was there to take her publicity headshots. Eric explained that Father Matt had gotten him a job at a friend's photo studio. Although Eric had already started to set up, Nicole declared, "This isn't gonna work. You should go."

Nicole maintained that it wouldn't look right if the photo credit on her pictures was also the subject of her first story. Eric reminded Nicole that the two of them worked well together -- plus he could really use the paycheck, since the diocese had suspended him. Eric added that although he wanted to be involved in the story, he still wouldn't go on record. Nicole somewhat testily assured him that she knew how to be professional with the story.

At last, Nicole agreed to let Eric shoot her pictures, so he set up some lights and began snapping away. When Nicole reviewed the pictures afterward, she was impressed that he hadn't lost his touch. Eric popped another memory card into the camera and showed Nicole the photos he'd taken of her years earlier at Venice Beach. Nicole suddenly remembered that she was late for her interview with Brady, so she rushed out.

Eric smiled as he viewed the pictures that he'd just taken of Nicole, but his smile fell as he recalled that she was on her way to interview Brady. Worried about his career as a priest, Eric grabbed his gear and headed out.

Theresa arrived at the Horton house and announced that she was there to set J.J. free. J.J. asked sarcastically, "Did you have sex with the judge or something?" Annoyed, Theresa retrieved a scarf that she'd intentionally forgotten in order to have a reason to return. She told J.J. that he could stop getting drugs for her and she would make the video of him getting high go away in exchange for information -- on Daniel.

Theresa said that she wanted to know general things about Daniel, including what he was into. Dismayed that Theresa was after Daniel, J.J. asserted, "I don't know what he's into, but I can tell you what he's not into: you." Theresa insisted that there was "chemistry" between her and Daniel, plus, as J.J. would remember, she did know how to seduce someone. J.J. retorted that Theresa was a "buzzkill" who only cared about herself.

J.J. guessed that Theresa was going after Daniel, even though were many other good-looking guys with money in Salem, because she was still trying to get back at Jennifer. "So you're not going to fill me in about him?" Theresa asked, disappointed. J.J. snapped, "I don't even know him! Do a web search or something!" On her way back out, Theresa coyly warned J.J. to be more cooperative the next time they talked. As J.J. closed the door behind Theresa, he got a text message from Daniel that read, "I need to see you. Now."

When J.J. got to Daniel's apartment, Daniel angrily confronted him about buying drugs from the dealer in the park. J.J. immediately guessed that Daniel had talked to Brady. "That lying bastard is out to get me!" J.J. maintained. He swore that he hadn't used drugs since the night of Theresa's overdose. Daniel pointed out that J.J. had a history of swearing to things that weren't true. J.J. insisted that he didn't want to mess things up with his mom, since things were going so well. Daniel wondered what Brady had to gain from lying about seeing J.J. buying drugs.

"That day, Brady looked like he was jonesing for drugs himself. He was all hyper, and his pupils were huge," J.J. maintained. He added that Brady had claimed to be out for a run, but J.J. hadn't seen Brady do any running. J.J. believed that Brady had blabbed to Jennifer in order to "[cover] his ass." Daniel wanted to know why J.J. hadn't confronted Brady. J.J. explained that he didn't care what Brady thought about him, but he did care what Daniel thought.

"I'm not doing drugs. I couldn't hurt my mom like that, and I couldn't do that to you, either, not after everything that you have done for me," J.J. said sincerely. He asked if Daniel believed him, and Daniel said he did. Daniel apologized for jumping to conclusions. J.J. took responsibility for his and Daniel's past difficulties, but assured Daniel, "If you ever need anything -- I really mean it -- you can count on me."

Theresa feigned disappointment when she arrived at the hospital and learned from Maggie that the A.A. meeting had already ended. "I ran home to get what I wrote about the first step. I wanted to give it to Juanita," Theresa explained. Theresa asked if Maggie would read what she'd written, noting, "You work the program every day, and this entire town respects you, so -- I just feel like if you approve of what I'm doing, maybe other people will, too." Maggie agreed to read what Theresa had written.

Maggie was sitting in the waiting area, reading Theresa's remarks, when Daniel arrived. Theresa watched surreptitiously from the other side of the nurses' station while Daniel gave his mom a kiss. When Maggie said that she'd just gotten out of a meeting, Daniel asked if Brady were still around. Maggie said that Brady hadn't been there, and she was worried about him because it was important for recovering alcoholics and addicts to attend frequent meetings after something painful happened -- like what Brady had gone through with Kristen.

Maggie continued that Brady had been avoiding her, and she had caught him in some small lies -- but whenever she confronted him, he kept insisting that he was fine. Daniel looked worried as he bustled off to check on some patients.

After Maggie had finished reading what Theresa had written, she returned the pages to Theresa. "You're a very clever girl and a very good writer... I've been in the program a long time, and I've developed a sixth sense -- and I know when someone is writing or speaking from the heart," Maggie warned Theresa, adding, "It just seems a little pat, like you're saying what you think people want to hear." She hoped that Theresa were serious about the program, because otherwise the consequences could be deadly.

J.J. found a note from his mom when he got home, letting him know that she had a date with Liam that night, but she had left a casserole for J.J.'s dinner. "You can do better than some jerk drug salesman. You should be with Daniel. It's my fault that you're not. I have to fix this, and I better do it fast. Theresa's on the move," J.J. told himself.

When Brady returned to the Kiriakis mansion, he looked around to make sure he was alone, then pulled a vial of coke from his pocket and stuck a little in his mouth. He flung his jacket on a chair and walked out of the living room. Just then, Nicole and her videographer, Greg, arrived outside. Nicole rang the doorbell but there was no answer, so she tried the door and was surprised to find it unlocked. Worried, Nicole went inside, calling out for Brady and Henderson, and Greg followed.

Brady stopped, startled, when he returned to the living room and saw Nicole and a strange man there. Nicole explained that she'd feared there had been a break-in when she'd found the front door unlocked. Nicole had to remind Brady that she was there to do his interview about Eric. Although initially unwilling, Brady agreed to go on-camera. "Let's rock and roll, and I'll answer anything you want," Brady declared.

Brady sat on the couch with Nicole across from him while Greg filmed them. Nicole asked if Brady thought Kristen regretted drugging and seducing Father Eric. Laughing bitterly, Brady replied, "Are you kidding me? Whores don't have regrets." Nicole reminded Brady that he had publicly professed his belief that Kristen had changed. Brady confessed that he had only said that because he'd wanted to keep having sex with Kristen.

Looking directly into the camera, Brady addressed Kristen: "I hope you're watching this, because you need to see what you've done to my life. You need to see what you've done to everyone else's lives out there. You destroyed 'em. I hope that makes you warm and fuzzy at night." He cautioned Kristen that her looks would start to go soon, and then she wouldn't be able to wield her power over men and destroy them the way she had destroyed Brady.

As a manic Brady continued ranting into the camera at Kristen, Nicole started to stop him -- but Eric arrived just then and interrupted. Promising not to get in the way, Eric explained that he just wanted to listen to what Brady had to say. Greg kept the camera running while Nicole said that she didn't think Eric's presence was a good idea, but Brady disagreed. "Welcome to the 'trash Kristen' party," Brady declared as he headed to the bar to make himself a drink.

Fed up, Nicole instructed Greg to turn off the camera and declared to Brady, "We are done." Brady demanded to know what was bugging Nicole. "Is it because Eric's here? Is that why? It's freaking you out or something?" Brady asked rapid-fire. "No, it's because of you, and the way that you're acting and saying things that you would never want anyone to hear. What is with you today?" Nicole demanded. "He's as high as a kite. That's what's with him," Daniel announced from the doorway.

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