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Monday, December 30, 2013
by Mike

At the Kiriakis mansion, Daniel promised that he, Eric, and Nicole would help Brady, who had conquered cocaine addiction before and was capable of doing so again. Brady laughed and took a sip of his whiskey before irritably shoving Greg's camera away.

Greg inspected the camera for damage, protesting that it had cost five thousand dollars, but Brady unsympathetically countered that Greg should have thought of that before trying to shove the camera up the nose of someone who was worth much more than five thousand dollars. Nicole seized Greg's camera and escorted him out of the mansion, ignoring his warning that she would have to be crazy to pass up the opportunity to film the rest of the impromptu intervention and sell it to TMZ later.

When Nicole returned to the living room, Daniel revealed that he had seen Brady talking to a drug dealer in the park earlier that day. Daniel urged Brady to admit that he had relapsed so that Daniel, Eric, and Nicole could help him get sober again. Brady maintained his innocence, repeating his earlier cover story about warning the drug dealer to stop selling drugs to J.J., but Daniel refused to believe the story and insisted that Brady needed to stop trying to drag J.J. into the matter.

Nicole reminded Brady that she had already made some comments about his odd behavior earlier, but he blamed his behavior on the questions that she had been asking him and that fact that she had agreed to let Eric observe the interview. Eric clarified that Brady had agreed to let Eric stay to watch the interview, and when Brady tried to deny Eric's claim, Nicole pointed out that the whole thing had been recorded. Nicole offered to play the recording for Brady so that he could watch his own behavior, but he refused to watch the recording and started to storm out of the mansion.

Daniel grabbed Brady's arm and insisted that he wasn't going to let Brady leave until Brady emptied his pockets. When Brady refused to comply with Daniel's request, Daniel tried to reach into Brady's pocket himself, and a vial of cocaine fell to the floor during the ensuing struggle. Eric picked up the vial of cocaine, but Brady quickly seized it from him.

"This belongs to me, okay? It belongs to me. You all happy? Are you satisfied? You should see your faces right now. It's like you're actually really enjoying this. It's like, 'We were right! We were right!' This is why I didn't want to tell you guys about this -- because of the smug look on all of your faces. You see, in my mind, after everything I've been through, I think I deserve this. This is not so bad, you know? I think I deserve it, you know? No, but -- no, I -- I need an intervention from my friends. This is -- this is small. I can handle this. Look at it. Look at it. I can handle ten times -- a hundred times of this stuff. It's fine; it's not a big deal. I deserve to have a break once in a while after everything that's gone down in my life. Do I not deserve that, friends?" Brady wondered as he defiantly waved the vial of cocaine in front of the group's faces.

Eric pointed out that Brady already knew where the road that Brady was traveling would ultimately lead him, and Nicole added that she, Daniel, and Eric cared about Brady and didn't want to see him hurt himself again. Brady wondered if Nicole was going to turn him in to the police in order to stop him from hurting himself. Nicole ignored the question, silently extending a hand toward Brady as a single tear rolled down his cheek.

Nicole confirmed that she would contact the police if she had to, simply because she cared about Brady, but he scoffed at her claim and reminded her that she had once poured cocaine in his drink in an effort to prevent him from revealing one of her dirty little secrets. Nicole clarified that she had also prevented Brady from consuming the spiked drink that he was referring to. Daniel insisted that Nicole's actions weren't relevant, but Brady countered that Daniel, who had recently been "treating Jennifer like crap and bouncing beds with some cheap little slut," had no right to judge him.

Eric protested that he, Daniel, and Nicole were simply trying to help Brady. "You shut your sanctimonious mouth, okay? You shut it up! You definitely have no right to tell me how to live my life. Weren't you the guy who had sex with my fiancée and did her every which way but Sunday?!" Brady countered. Eric clarified that Kristen had drugged him. "I don't want to hear about the drugs anymore! 'She raped me, Brady.' She didn't rape you, you idiot! Everybody in this town knows that that wasn't the case. They all saw the tape; everybody knows you loved every minute of it, so suck it up, Father!" Brady shouted in response, leaving Eric visibly affected.

Daniel tried to regain control of the situation, but Brady angrily stormed out of the mansion. Daniel chased after Brady, leaving Nicole alone with Eric. Nicole insisted that Eric couldn't believe what Brady had said, since Brady was high and had simply been trying to hurt Eric. Nicole hugged Eric and assured him that she and Daniel knew the truth and would do everything that they could possibly do to ensure that everyone else would soon know the truth, too. Meanwhile, outside, Brady insisted that there was nothing that Daniel could do to stop Brady from leaving. In response, Daniel punched Brady, and a fight quickly ensued.

At the Horton house, J.J. idly flipped through the various sections of the Salem Spectator as he muttered that there had to be a way to stop Jennifer from going out with Liam. Meanwhile, Abigail entered the living room and started to ask J.J. to help her with something, but he interrupted and pointed to an article that he had just spotted about a New Year's Eve fireworks display that was going to be held later that night.

J.J. suggested that he, Abigail, and Jennifer could attend the festivities as a family, but Abigail suspected that he was really just trying to think of a way to stop Jennifer from going on a date with Liam that night. J.J. tried to feign innocence, but when he realized that he wasn't going to be able to fool Abigail, he asked her to explain why Jennifer had been attracted to Liam in the first place. Abigail mused that Jennifer might simply want to have a nice, drama-free date with a guy who would treat her the way that she deserved to be treated. Abigail pointedly added that J.J. owed Jennifer that much, since he had caused more than his fair share of drama that year.

J.J. conceded the point and assured Abigail that he wouldn't do anything to ruin Jennifer's date. Satisfied, Abigail once again asked J.J. to help her with something, explaining that she had an application that needed to be delivered to the hospital before the end of the day so that she could qualify to change her part-time position at the hospital to a full-time position after her degree was finalized. J.J. wasn't happy about the prospect of being Abigail's errand boy, but she was unable to handle the task herself because she was expecting a friend to arrive at the house a short time later, so he reluctantly agreed to help her.

Later, after J.J. left, Abigail's friend arrived. As Abigail and her friend were planning their New Year's Eve celebration, Abigail received a text message from Cameron. "I know things ended badly. Still thinking of you. Hope new year treats you right," the message read.

At the hospital, Anne approached Jennifer, who was waiting for the elevator, and guessed that Jennifer was leaving work early -- again. Jennifer sweetly mused that Anne's life would probably be empty if she didn't have someone like Jennifer to spend each day hating, but Anne countered that she would be more than happy to take that risk.

Jennifer was surprised that Anne couldn't even manage to be happy on New Year's Eve, so Anne explained that she was in a bad mood because she had been forced to turn away fifteen promising young college graduates earlier that day, since the hospital apparently didn't have room to offer a job to anyone who wasn't a Horton. Jennifer started to remind Anne that there was a reason that Abigail had been given Theresa's old job, but Anne countered that it was the same reason that Jennifer never had to worry about being fired for failing to do actual work at the hospital.

Anne revealed that the positioning of her office window gave her a clear view of Jennifer's parking spot, and she admitted that when she watched Jennifer leave the hospital early every day, her fondest hope was always that Jennifer would simply keep driving and never return. As the elevator finally arrived, Jennifer guessed that Anne's fondest hope was actually that Jennifer would end up as a bloody pulp in the middle of a twenty-car pile-up. "Oh! You do know me!" Anne sarcastically replied as Jennifer stepped into the elevator.

Later, J.J. arrived at the hospital and approached Anne, who informed him that Jennifer had left earlier. Anne advised J.J. that searching for Jennifer at the hospital was generally going to be a waste of his time, but he smiled politely and handed her a folder as he clarified that he was simply making a delivery. Anne quickly examined the contents of the folder before impatiently handing it back to J.J., reminding him that he couldn't work at the hospital because he had a criminal record. J.J. clarified that Abigail was the person who had filled out the application, and he observed that Anne really seemed to have a problem with his family.

Anne didn't bother to deny J.J.'s suspicion, instead dismissively observing that he had apparently gone from being a juvenile delinquent to being Jennifer's protector. "She is perfect! Perfect," J.J. muttered with a mischievous smile as he watched Anne walk away. J.J. left the hospital and tracked Jennifer down at the Brady Pub, where she was just starting her date with Liam.

Jennifer excused herself so that she could talk to J.J. privately. J.J. claimed that when he had delivered Abigail's application to the hospital earlier, he had overheard Anne plotting to send the application straight to the shredder. Jennifer was outraged and vowed to take care of "that sadistic maniac" right away. J.J. predicted that Anne would probably deny the whole thing, but Jennifer promised that she wouldn't let Anne get away with doing so.

Jennifer apologetically informed Liam that she had to take care of an urgent matter and would return shortly. J.J. casually offered to wait with Liam at the pub, and Jennifer happily accepted his offer and officially introduced him to Liam as her son. After Jennifer left, J.J. said that he was glad that Liam was going out with Jennifer, since her previous relationship had ended disastrously.

"I mean, I don't think she would have been as hurt if she, like, wasn't totally in love with the guy -- Dr. Daniel Jonas," J.J. casually added. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Jennifer tracked Anne down and warned that she wasn't going to let Anne get away with what Anne was trying to do to Abigail.

At the park, E.J. calmed Sami down and helped her realize that the thing in the river that she had mistaken for Nick's body was actually just a log. E.J. assured Sami that everything was going to be all right, but she wasn't convinced. "He's down there, and I helped put him there. I mean, he was horrible, and he was disgusting, but he was a human being, and we killed him. How am I gonna get through this?" Sami tearfully wondered. E.J. hugged Sami as he replied that she was going to get through the ordeal with his help.

In Will and Sonny's apartment, Gabi gasped and wondered what Will was doing in the closet. "You killed Nick, and you're asking me what I'm doing in the closet?" Will incredulously summarized as he exited the closet. Sonny claimed that Gabi had simply been speaking metaphorically about the night that she had kicked Nick out of her life for good. "Is she gonna burn her coat metaphorically?" Will skeptically asked.

Sonny stammered as he tried to think of a response, but Gabi stopped him, realizing that it would be pointless to continue lying because Will had already learned the truth. "Um...I don't know how to -- I don't know how to comprehend this. You killed a human being? You killed somebody? Who are -- who are you, Gabi?" Will asked as he stared at Gabi in disbelief.

Sonny tried to explain that Gabi had killed Nick in self-defense, but Will found that hard to believe because he had just heard her making plans to burn evidence that could link her to Nick's death. Will was horrified when Gabi revealed that Nick's death had occurred over one month earlier, before Nick had supposedly moved to New York, and that Nick's body was at the bottom of Salem River.

Will struggled to understand how a drowning could possibly be considered a self-defense killing. Sonny vaguely clarified that the situation was complicated, so Will grabbed his cell phone and suggested that Roman might be able to help them sort everything out. Sonny insisted that getting the police involved would only make things worse, but Will doubted that things could get any worse than they already were, since Gabi had just admitted to drowning her ex-husband.

"No, not really. I mean, he was -- he was almost dead when we pushed him in the water. And then we -- we thought about calling the cops, but then we realized that we --" Gabi started to explain, but Will interrupted and wondered if she was trying to say that Sonny had helped her dispose of Nick's body. When Sonny clarified that he had not been involved in the incident, Will sighed and begged Gabi to assure him that Sami and Kate were not her accomplices. Gabi remained silent, and Will sighed heavily as he slumped down on the couch and slapped his face repeatedly, hoping to wake himself up from the nightmare that he was experiencing.

Sonny explained that Sami and Kate had simply been trying to help Gabi, but Will was still confused, wondering how it was even possible for three people to murder someone in self-defense. As Sonny started to reiterate that the situation was complicated, Will turned his attention to Gabi, who was composing a text message on her cell phone. Will demanded to know what Gabi was doing, and she replied that she was letting Kate and Sami know that he had figured out the truth, since his knowledge of their crime was going to change everything. "My God. My daughter is being raised by the Sopranos," Will muttered with another heavy sigh.

Will started to ask Gabi to tell him everything, but he changed his mind and decided that he first wanted to know how long Sonny had been hiding the truth from him. Gabi revealed that Sonny had learned the truth on the day that he had hidden in the closet to eavesdrop on her conversation with Kate and Sami. "The -- seriously? This whole time, I thought you were texting me about my stupid surprise birthday party?" Will asked incredulously.

Sonny clarified that he hadn't realized what the women had been talking about right away, and he admitted that he should have told Will the truth when he had rejoined Will at Club TBD after eavesdropping on the women on the day in question. Knowing that Sami and Kate were probably on their way over to the apartment, Sonny tried to assure Will that everything would soon make sense, but Will insisted that the situation was never going to make sense to him. Meanwhile, Arianna started to cry, and Will announced that he was going to be the one to calm her down, since he needed to do something that was normal.

Later, in Will and Sonny's bedroom, Will sighed as he played with Arianna. "Hi. Hi, my sweet girl. You know, I -- I really want you to grow up in a world full of love and some semblance of stability. My crazy family, though, is gonna ruin that for you. So what do we do?" Will asked Arianna.

Meanwhile, in the living room, Gabi hoped that Kate and Sami would be able to help her and Sonny calm Will down, but Sonny wasn't optimistic, predicting that Will was going to feel cornered, since that was exactly how Sonny had felt when he had been in Will's position -- like the women had been forcing him to be a part of their crime. Gabi protested that Sonny had always had the freedom to tell Justin the truth, but Sonny reminded her that she, Sami, and Kate had repeatedly warned him that doing so would ruin the women's lives and Will's life. Sonny admitted that he never should have lied to Will, guessing that Will would have handled the news better if he had heard about it during a private conversation with Sonny.

When Kate arrived, she started to chastise Sonny for telling Will the truth, but Gabi clarified that Will had learned the truth while hiding in the closet. "In the closet? Are you serious? What -- I'm gonna pay for someone to tear that thing out!" Kate vowed as Sami and E.J. entered the apartment. Kate sweetly greeted E.J., trying to act like nothing was wrong, but Sami quickly informed the group that he had already learned the truth earlier.

Kate started to complain about Sami's decision to involve E.J., but Sami shushed her and insisted that they needed to focus on Will. Sonny agreed and went to get Will after warning the group to refrain from making Will feel like they were ganging up on him. "Will's gone! He just went out the back, and he took Ari with him," Sonny announced when he emerged from his and Will's bedroom a short time later.

As the women started to freak out, Sonny calmly assured them that he would locate Will, who couldn't have gone far in the relatively short amount of time that had passed since they had last seen each other. E.J. guessed that Will had gone to talk to Marlena. "His grandmother is right here. You're saying he went to see his other grandmother?" Kate asked incredulously. Gabi helpfully pointed out that Marlena was the grandmother who hadn't killed anyone.

After Sonny left, E.J. suggested that it would probably be best for him to help the women figure out their next move while they were waiting for Sonny to find Will. Kate sarcastically instructed Gabi to take notes, but Gabi missed the sarcasm and followed Kate's instructions. E.J. summarized that the number of people who knew the truth about Nick's death had doubled in the past week, and he suggested that the first order of business would be for the group to ensure that no one else ever learned the truth. "Oh, definitely! Well, we should lock the closet, then," Kate cheerfully stated.

Sami advised Kate and Gabi that it would be in their best interest to accept E.J.'s help. "Oh, goodie -- thank God we have a professional on board. Well, E.J., since you seem to be the go-to guy, how do we get away with murder?" Kate dryly asked. Meanwhile, Gabi stared at E.J. expectantly as she remained poised to take notes. E.J. impatiently asked Kate to stop being sarcastic, but she clarified that she wasn't being sarcastic -- she really wanted to know how to get away with murder.

E.J. proceeded to explain how the group could cover their tracks to ensure that they would never get caught. E.J. informed the women that he would send a crew of cleaners around the following morning to collect everything that the women had worn on the night of Nick's death. "Um, excuse me, but I was wearing a two thousand dollar pair of Christian Louboutin boots that night, and I will not be destroying them," Kate protested. Sami shrugged and reasoned that Kate would be the best-dressed woman in Statesville Prison.

E.J. insisted that if the women wanted to protect themselves, they had to follow his instructions and let his team of professionals handle the situation. "Well, will you listen to that? Congratulations, Sami -- you have managed to hook up with a guy who is his father's son in every despicable aspect of that word," Kate observed as she listened to E.J. expertly describe how the women were going to get themselves out of their predicament.

Elsewhere, in a secluded section of Horton Town Square, Will received a text message from Sonny -- "We need to talk. Just us. Please. You know I love you" -- but he chose not to reply to the message. "You know, everything may be crazy right now, but, uh, I will protect you, I promise. 'Cause you're the most important person in the world to me, and -- and nothing else matters. Nothing," Will told Arianna.

"I totally agree," Sonny said, and Will sighed as he looked at Sonny.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Will's apartment, E.J. ordered Kate to destroy all the clothing she had worn the night of Nick's murder. Kate refused to destroy her $2,000 boots. Furious, E.J. reminded Kate that there were several lives on the line. Kate grudgingly agreed when E.J. threatened to destroy all of Kate's boots. E.J. informed Kate, Sami, and Gabi that his cleaners would find and destroy any remaining evidence of the crime. Sami fretted aloud about Will.

Gabi received a text message from Sonny about Will. Kate and Sami were eager to meet up with Sonny and Will, but E.J. shouted a reminder that they had promised Sonny to stay at the apartment until Will was calm enough to return home. Gabi, Sami, and Kate meekly nodded yes. As Sami wondered aloud what to do, E.J. urged Sami to be patient and wait for Sonny to talk to Will.

When the phone rang, everyone in the room jumped. Gabi answered the phone, and it was a panicked T, looking for Sonny. When Gabi said that Sonny was not there, T explained that the club was swamped and that he needed help. T added that if he did not have help soon, Sonny could lose a lot of money if the crowd walked out on the New Year's Eve celebration. After Gabi hung up the phone, Gabi and Sami worried about Sonny's club. To calm everyone down, E.J. promised to cover any losses at the club.

Shaking her head, Sami noted that Sonny would refuse E.J.'s money and that the club's reputation could be damaged by a bad event. Sami grabbed E.J.'s hand and pulled him to the door. Sami ordered Gabi and Kate to text her if there were any updates, then Sami asked E.J. to help her at the club.

In the park, Sonny found Will talking to Arianna. Sonny begged Will to listen to him. Sonny explained that he had chosen to protect Arianna. Confused, Will asked how covering up a murder protected Arianna. Sonny said that when he had learned about the murder, his instinct had been to call Justin, but Sami and Kate had changed his mind once they told Sonny the whole story about the murder.

Sonny explained that Gabi had screamed at Nick in the square in front of a crowd of people, and then she had walked into the woods to escape from Nick. Sonny continued that Nick had thrown Gabi to the ground and had attempted to rape her. When Sonny said that Gabi had hit Nick in the head with a rock to protect herself, Will yelled that he wished Sonny had mentioned that earlier. Sonny agreed with Will that it had been self-defense but added that Sami and Kate had worried that no one would believe Gabi after the scene in the square.

Sonny argued that by the time he had learned about the murder, Gabi, Sami, and Kate had already made things worse by covering up the crime. As Will shook his head, Sonny explained that telling the truth would not save Nick, but it would take away Arianna's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Will told Sonny that he was upset that Sonny had kept another secret from him because of Will's family.

Smiling, Sonny countered that he was part of the Kiriakis family, and he would one day have his own family problems. Will nodded and apologized for dragging Sonny into a murder. Sonny assured Will that his family had attempted to do the right thing and help Gabi rather than walk away from her.

"We'll find a way to get through this. For her sake," Sonny said as he nodded at Arianna.

In Will, Sonny, and Gabi's apartment, Gabi stared nervously at her phone. When Gabi wondered aloud if it was inevitable that the police would learn about the murder, Kate counseled Gabi to have faith in her, Sami, and E.J. Kate urged Gabi to stay positive.

Kate added, "You have to stop thinking about yourself because this isn't just about you. It never has been." Kate handed a photo of Arianna to Gabi. As Gabi and Kate waited on the couch, Sonny, Will, and Arianna returned home. Will said everything was fine. Sonny explained that he had told Will the whole story.

Overcome, Gabi rushed into Will's arms and hugged him tightly. Gabi apologized for lying to Will, and Kate added that if there had been any other way to handle the situation then they would have done it. Will nodded. When Sonny asked about E.J. and Sami, Gabi explained that they had gone to the club to help T.

Sonny's jaw dropped open as he remembered that it was New Year's Eve. Frantic, Sonny left for the club. Kate urged Will to go to the club to help out and talk to Sami. Will kissed Arianna goodbye and left. Alone, Gabi held Arianna, and Kate noted that there was no better way to ring in the new year. Kate made a sash with "2014" on it and placed it on Arianna. Kate and Gabi made a ginger ale toast to the new year.

At Club TBD, reinforcements arrived. T was surprised to see Sami and E.J., but Sami reminded T that she had worked at her grandfather's pub for years. Sami handed an apron to a surprised E.J. With a nod, E.J. took off his jacket and donned an apron. As Sami and E.J. worked behind the bar, T shuttled drinks around the room. When Sami asked E.J. if he could handle carrying around a tray of champagne like T, E.J. smiled devilishly and commented that he could do anything T could do.

After delivering champagne to everyone, E.J. returned to the bar to help Sami clean up. Smiling, Sami joked that E.J. had missed his calling. When Sonny and Will walked into the club, T greeted them and explained that Sami and E.J. had helped bail him out with the crowd. Sonny asked Will to stay put, and he walked over to the bar. Eager, Sami rushed over to talk to Will, and Sonny thanked E.J. for helping out at the club.

E.J. asked Sonny how things were with Will. Sonny explained that things had gone well. Across the room, Sami apologized to Will. Will hugged his mother as she fought back tears. Will assured Sami that everything was okay and that he believed that Sami had done what she believed to be the right thing. When Sami apologized for lying, Will said that he knew Sami had wanted to protect him. Smiling, Sami promised that the next year would be better.

As Sami explained how she and E.J. had helped T, E.J. joined them and asked Will if he was okay. Will nodded, and E.J. lovingly tapped Will on the cheek as Will walked toward Sonny at the bar. Sami thanked E.J. for helping her at the club. As the patrons in the club started to count down to midnight, Sami and E.J. stared at one another. Across the bar, Sonny and Will agreed that they were both right where they wanted to be. Sonny and Will kissed as T announced that it was 30 seconds to midnight.

In the Horton house, Abigail's phone beeped as she invited her friend Meghan into the house. When Abigail checked her phone, she saw a text message from Cameron stating that he missed her and was thinking about her. Abigail's face fell. Meghan asked Abigail if they were going to the party, and Abigail said no.

When Meghan asked why, Abigail explained that she had received a text from work and that she could not go out. Abigail urged Meghan to go to the party without her. Meghan advised Abigail to shut off her phone then she left for the party.

In front of the nurses' station at the hospital, Jennifer accused Anne of sabotaging Abigail's position at the hospital. Bewildered, Anne asked Jennifer who had told her that information. Anne denied that she had done anything to hurt Abigail. Furious, Jennifer warned Anne that if she caused Abigail to be fired from the hospital, Jennifer would ensure that Anne would be fired by the new year.

Defensive, Anne showed Jennifer proof that she had signed off on approving Abigail as a full-time employee and that Anne had forwarded on the application to Seth Burns for review. As Jennifer looked at the memo in stunned silence, Anne explained that though she hated Jennifer and her family, Seth had instructed Anne to find a full-time position for Abigail, and she had complied. As a confused Jennifer left, Anne yelled out after her, demanding an explanation of who had lied about her to Jennifer.

At the Brady Pub, J.J. sat down at the table with Jennifer's date, Liam. J.J. casually mentioned how happy he was that Jennifer was going on a date with Liam, because Jennifer had been in love with her last boyfriend, Daniel. Liam admitted that he knew Daniel. J.J. informed Liam that he had sabotaged Daniel's relationship with Jennifer by acting out but that J.J. was paying the price. When Liam asked what J.J. meant, J.J. told Liam about his sentencing hearing. Liam raised his eyebrows, and J.J. changed the subject.

Jennifer returned to the pub and overheard J.J. tell Liam not to mention what they had discussed. Angry, Jennifer apologized to Liam for disappearing, and she asked J.J. to talk privately. Jennifer took J.J. aside and asked, "I thought your lying days were over?" Jennifer explained that she had spoken to Anne. Frustrated, Jennifer reminded J.J. that he had gotten his way with Daniel and that she did not want J.J. to sour Jennifer's relationship with Liam.

"I am tired our your destructive games. I don't care how loyal you think you're being to your father," Jennifer said. Jennifer reminded J.J. that he was interfering with her life and that she wanted J.J. to respect her choices. J.J. promised that he would not interfere again. J.J. hugged Jennifer and left. Jennifer apologized to Liam for not telling him about her son and Daniel. Smiling, Liam countered that he had not mentioned his ex-wife because there was no need to know all about one another on the first date.

"First date or not, I feel like I should tell you about Daniel. I loved him. I really loved him," Jennifer said. Jennifer added that she needed time. Liam said he understood that it was difficult for a person to get over someone they loved. Smiling, Liam suggested that they go on another date, and Jennifer agreed.

On the front porch of the Kiriakis mansion, Eric struggled to hold Brady back from hitting Daniel as he lay on the ground. Nicole pleaded with Brady to stop fighting. After Brady elbowed Eric and shoved him away, Brady grabbed Nicole and held her in a loose chokehold. Nicole begged Brady to stop and look at what he was doing. Daniel rose to his feet, and Brady warned Daniel and Eric to back off.

Nicole told Daniel and Eric to stay back then she turned her head up to look at Brady. Softly, Nicole urged Brady to look at her. As Brady realized what he was doing, his eyes welled with tears. Brady let go of Nicole and apologized. Stunned by his behavior, Brady wandered into the house and apologized again for his behavior. Daniel, Eric, and Nicole assured Brady that they were there to support him.

"I was cruel to you guys, I'm very sorry. I wanted you to hate me. You didn't give up on me. Thank you for not giving up on me. I appreciate it," Brady said. Nicole and Daniel promised that they would not let Brady fail and would help him. Brady noted that he should go to a meeting, and Eric offered to join him. Brady asked Daniel not to tell Maggie that he had fallen off the wagon.

Nicole led Daniel into the living room to examine the cut on his head, leaving Eric and Brady alone to talk in the foyer. When Eric asked if Brady needed anything, Brady countered that he needed a way to make up for the things he had said to Eric about Kristen. Brady assured Eric that he believed that Kristen had drugged Eric. Eric and Brady hugged, then Brady went upstairs to change his shirt.

Eric looked into the living room and watched Nicole gently check the wound on Daniel's forehead. Daniel joked that he did not remember getting injured. Smiling, Nicole said that she was glad that Daniel was a good friend to Brady. When Eric entered the living room, Daniel asked how Brady was feeling. Eric explained that Brady was changing upstairs. Nodding, Daniel said he and Nicole would leave so that Brady did not feel overwhelmed.

As Nicole and Daniel reached the front door, Brady walked down the stairs. Daniel urged Brady to hang in there and be strong. Brady apologized again. Nicole kissed Brady on the cheek then left with Daniel. When Brady apologized to Eric again, Eric told Brady to save his words for the meeting. Brady nodded and left with Eric.

In the Horton living room, Abigail dried her eyes after crying over the text message from Cameron. There was a loud knocking on the front door. Abigail sniffled then answered the door. An angry Anne marched past Abigail and demanded to see Jennifer. Abigail explained that Jennifer was out of the house. Anne argued that Jennifer had no right to accused Anne of attacking Abigail.

Confused, Abigail asked what had happened. Anne told Abigail that Jennifer had marched into the hospital and had accused Anne of plotting to have Abigail fired. Alarmed, Abigail asked if the accusation was true. Anne argued that she had recommended that Abigail be hired to a full-time position. Anne said that she would not leave until Jennifer told her who had spread the rumor, but Abigail ordered Anne to leave.

When J.J. arrived home, Abigail asked him if he had told Jennifer that Anne had attempted to sabotage Abigail's application. J.J. admitted that he had lied to Jennifer. When Abigail asked why, J.J. explained that he had screwed up. "Looks like we're the two losers with nobody to hang out with," J.J. said. Abigail reminded J.J. that they had one another.

J.J. and Abigail walked to the park outside the town square and talked. J.J. asked Abigail why she was not out on a date for New Year's Eve. Abigail explained that dating was overrated. As the fireworks exploded in the sky, J.J. hugged his sister.

Back at the Horton house, Liam walked Jennifer to the front door. Jennifer pointed out the fireworks and noted that it was almost midnight. When Jennifer apologized for her son's actions, Liam joked that they likely would get to know one another better that way than if they had had a boring, normal first date. Liam kissed Jennifer on the cheek.

Back at Daniel's apartment, Nicole suggested that Daniel should go to the hospital and get stitches. Daniel countered that the cut was minor. Smiling, Nicole pushed Daniel on the couch and announced that she was going to take care of him. Outside the fireworks exploded as Nicole placed a bandage on Daniel's forehead. Nicole kissed Daniel's cheek and wished him a "happy New Year."

In the town square, Brady informed Eric that the meeting was closed for N.A. and A.A. members only. When Eric asked if there was another meeting, Brady said that he was anxious to go into the meeting right away. Eric nodded and wished Brady well. Once Eric walked away, Brady turned away from the meeting and walked across the town square.

When Eric returned to the square and asked a man leaving the meeting when it would be over, the man said that the meeting had broken up earlier. Confused, Eric stared in silence. In the nearby park, Brady purchased drugs from a dealer as the fireworks exploded overhead. "Time to celebrate," Brady said with a smile.

As the clock struck midnight at Club TBD, Will and Sonny kissed. Across the club, E.J. walked up behind Sami and handed her a glass of champagne. "Happy New Year, E.J.," Sami said softly as she kissed him on the cheek.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Due to the New Year's holiday, Days of our Lives did not air today. This programming change was accounted for in scheduling, and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of the pre-emption.

Regular programming will resume on Thursday, January 2, 2014, and pick up where the Tuesday, December 31, 2013, episode concluded.

On behalf of everyone at soapcentral.com, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014
by Mike

Sami entered a secluded section of Horton Town Square as she issued orders to one of her employees on the phone. Kate waited for Sami to end the call before admitting that she was enjoying the fact that Kristen had left Countess Wilhelmina in a state of chaos that Sami was still scrambling to manage. Sami impatiently insisted that she didn't have time to listen to Kate's snarky comments that day.

Kate shrugged and pointed out that Sami was the person who had arranged for them to meet to discuss a supposedly urgent matter. Sami insisted that the matter was urgent, adding that she had a lot of things that she needed to do before going on a business trip later that day and that she was going to need Kate's help. Kate teasingly asked if Sami needed an expert to help her clean up the mess that Kristen had made at Countess Wilhelmina.

Sami scoffed and clarified that she had arranged the meeting to discuss the only reason that she and Kate had been on speaking terms with each other lately -- Gabi. Sami explained that while she was gone, she wanted Kate to keep an eye on Gabi -- as well as Will and Sonny -- to ensure that Nick's death remained a secret. Kate's suspicions were aroused, and she wondered why Sami hadn't asked E.J. to handle the matter instead, since he had exhibited such a take-charge attitude the previous day. Kate guessed that E.J. was not yet aware that Sami was planning to leave town, and she knowingly warned that he wouldn't let Sami leave without his permission.

Sami insisted that she would never let anyone boss her around, but Kate explained that Sami had handed over the power in the relationship to E.J. when Sami had told him about Nick's death. "We're not talking about me anymore, are we? We're talking about you and Stefano. You were an idiot, Kate. You have only yourself to blame -- you're the one who let yourself get on Stefano's leash by giving him all that infor --" Sami started to say, but she stopped herself when she suddenly realized that she had recently done the same thing.

"Ah, don't worry. They'll get you a really beautiful collar -- probably with diamonds and studs," Kate assured Sami, who wasn't the least bit amused. Kate wondered when the wedding would occur, and when Sami reported that she and E.J. had not yet set a date, Kate confidently predicted that he would soon change that, with or without Sami's approval. Sami insisted that E.J. would never blackmail her into marrying him, but Kate pointed out that E.J. was the son of the man who had blackmailed Kate into marriage.

Kate said that E.J. would always feel like he had something to prove to Stefano -- such as the fact that he could handle a woman just as well as Stefano could. "God, I feel like I just woke up in 1950," Sami dryly muttered, but Kate insisted that she was simply trying to help Sami. "E.J. is a DiMera, and he'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. And God help him, he wants you. And now, thanks to your big mouth, he has you exactly where he wants you, and until you realize that, you have no chance," Kate summarized.

Sami impatiently changed the subject, reiterating that she just wanted to know if Kate would be willing to keep an eye on Gabi, Will, and Sonny while Sami was gone. Kate nodded and agreed to grant Sami's request. "But you're not going anywhere. Get used to that," Kate knowingly predicted before walking away.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. met with the head of his cleaning crew, who handed him a bulky manila envelope filled with evidence from the area surrounding the river. The cleaner mused that the women were lucky that the police hadn't uncovered the evidence first. The cleaner offered to destroy the evidence, but E.J. said that he would handle the matter himself. E.J. promised to wire the payment for the cleaner's services and discretion to the cleaner's usual account.

Shortly after the cleaner exited through the terrace door, Stefano opened the living room doors and observed that there was still trouble in paradise. E.J. insisted that everything was fine, but Stefano doubted that E.J. enjoyed sleeping alone each night. E.J. remained silent as he recalled what had happened when he and Sami had returned to the mansion after the New Year's Eve party the previous night -- they had laughed about his newly discovered skills as a waiter for a few minutes, but when he had leaned in to kiss her, she had blocked his attempt and quickly excused herself so that she could get some sleep.

As E.J. went to the bar to pour himself a glass of whiskey, Stefano observed that E.J. was handling Sami's cold-shoulder treatment with a great deal of patience. Stefano optimistically predicted that Sami might invite E.J. back into her bed after they had been together for a few more years, and he added that she might even agree to marry E.J. right around the time that Johnny graduated from high school. "You know, if there was only some way that you could make her realize how foolish she is. If you only had some leverage," Stefano innocently mused as E.J. stared at the package of evidence that the cleaner had delivered earlier.

Stefano recalled that he still had the evidence that proved that Will had shot E.J. years earlier, and he offered to give it to E.J. as an early wedding gift. E.J. happily agreed to accept Stefano's offer, but when Stefano stressed that E.J. needed to actually use the evidence as leverage instead of simply accepting it, E.J. insisted that he wasn't going to blackmail Sami into marrying him. E.J. said that he didn't want a hostage as a wife, but Stefano knowingly assured him that having a hostage as a wife could be entertaining.

Stefano pointed out that Kate had eventually fallen in love with him, despite the fact that he had blackmailed her into marrying him. E.J. countered that Sami was already in love with him, and he complained that the only problem in their relationship was the DiMera family itself -- a problem that, unfortunately, was never going to change. Meanwhile, E.J. received a phone call from someone who informed him of Sami's travel plans. E.J. irritably instructed the caller to keep the DiMera jet on the runway until further notice, explaining that Sami wasn't authorized to make flight plans without his or Stefano's consent. After ending the call, E.J. stormed out of the living room, silently warning Stefano not to say a word about what had just happened. "Good. It's a start," Stefano said with an approving smile after E.J. left.

Later, Sami carried a travel bag into the living room, where she received a phone call from E.J. Sami chose to ignore the call, but she was startled when E.J. appeared behind her and demanded an explanation. Sami explained that she had simply chosen to ignore E.J.'s call because she was already late and still had a lot of things that she needed to do before going to Chicago to try to clean up the damage that Kristen had done to Countess Wilhelmina. "I thought [cleanup] was my job, especially when it came to covering up your half-assed criminal activities," E.J. impatiently replied.

Sami suddenly spotted the envelope that E.J. was holding, and when she asked him about it, he explained that it contained proof of her involvement in Nick's murder. E.J. chastised Sami for her sloppiness, and she started to defend herself before changing her mind and simply thanking him for his help instead. Sami reached for the envelope, but E.J. pulled it away from her and stuffed it in his back pocket as he walked toward the bar.

Sami nervously pointed out that it would probably be best to destroy the evidence, and E.J. conceded that they could certainly go that route. Sami sighed and started to excuse herself so that she could go on her business trip, but E.J. stopped her and informed her that the jet wasn't going anywhere without his authorization. Sami pointed out that she was E.J.'s fiancée and business partner, and she admitted that she couldn't believe that she was actually negotiating the matter with him.

E.J. countered that he couldn't believe that Sami was still punishing him for something that Kristen had done and making him prove that he was worthy of her love. Sami clarified that she wanted E.J. to prove that he was trustworthy, prompting him to reply that she certainly seemed to trust him enough to clean up her messes. Sami conceded the point and started to admit that she probably hadn't made her appreciation clear enough, but E.J. impatiently interrupted and warned her not to try to placate him. Sami claimed that she didn't know what else E.J. wanted from her, but he refused to believe that.

Sami challenged E.J. to tell her the truth so that she could give him what he wanted, but he maintained that he had already told her the truth, and he asked her to return the favor for once and tell him if she wanted to marry him. Sami pointedly held up her hand to display the engagement ring that she was wearing, but E.J. clarified that he wanted to know what the ring meant to her. Sami impatiently replied that the ring meant that she and E.J. were engaged. E.J. wondered if Sami saw their engagement as a permanent condition, and she insisted that she did not.

"So you wear the ring why -- because you like it? Because it works for you? Just like having me cover up all of your murders works for you?" E.J. wondered. Sami said that she didn't know what those two things had to do with each other, and E.J. replied that he was also trying to figure that out. Sami nodded and uncomfortably rose from the couch, acknowledging that E.J. was obviously trying to have a very complicated conversation with her that deserved her full attention. Sami promised that she and E.J. could resume the conversation when she returned from her business trip, but E.J. quickly cut her off and closed all of the exits to the living room, insisting that she wasn't going anywhere until they settled the matter.

In Will and Sonny's apartment, Sonny smiled as he tucked a folded piece of paper into the decorative tin can that he always hid his New Year's resolutions in. Will flopped down on the couch next to Sonny and asked to see Sonny's newest resolution. Sonny protested that Will would jinx the tradition if he took a peek at the resolution before Sonny had a chance to make it a reality, but Will dismissed the concern, pointing out that Sonny seemed to have a pretty good track record with New Year's resolutions, since he had successfully managed to get Will to fall in love with him after resolving to do so two years earlier.

Sonny smiled with anticipation as he watched Will retrieve the piece of paper from the tin can. "'Marry Will Horton.' You want to marry me?" Will asked Sonny, who playfully hit Will and told him to stop acting like the news was a huge surprise. Will reminded Sonny that it wasn't going to be easy for them to get married. "No. No, it isn't. [Sonny] covered up my murder. And that's not all he's been hiding from you. Ask him. Ask him what he's been keeping from you for over a year. Ask him about the mother of your child. Go ahead," Nick urged Will as he suddenly entered the apartment. Confused, Will asked if Sonny was hiding something from him.

Sonny gasped as he woke up and realized that he had been having a nightmare. Sonny called out for Will when he realized that Will's side of the bed was empty, but when he didn't receive a response, he climbed out of the bed and got dressed so that he could investigate Will's disappearance. The living room was empty, so Sonny checked the coat closet and groaned when he noticed that something was missing. Sonny grabbed two coats and quickly rushed out of the apartment.

At the park, Will idly tossed some stones in the river as he thought about the things that Sonny had told him on New Year's Eve about the circumstances surrounding Nick's death. The birdwatcher's signature greeting interrupted Will's thoughts, and when Will turned to face the man, he apologized for disturbing Will's reverie. The birdwatcher mused that the never-ending flow of the river was mesmerizing, and he revealed that he often visited that area of the park because he loved to watch. Will was confused, so the man clarified that he loved to watch the Progne subis, although he added that the species wintered in Brazil.

"In fact, most of the usual suspects are out of town, so to speak, so one finds oneself looking at some very odd things instead. It's a tricky time of year here on the river -- so...cold...and so...lethal," the birdwatcher added with a slight shiver. Will sighed nervously and asked the birdwatcher to elaborate, so the man directed Will's attention to a specific part of the river. "See this calm spot down here? Looks like a good place where one could rest one's oars, doesn't it? But that eddy is caused by an obstruction; something is stuck down there, [and] it's catching everything that flows past, creating a weaker current," the birdwatcher explained.

Will was surprised that the birdwatcher had been able to figure all of that out from observation alone, but the man assured Will that any seasoned woodsman could look at that part of the river and immediately recognize that something was amiss. "In fact, I once saw an innocent fall prey to the power of this river in this exact spot. I watched as a Sciurus carolinensis climbed out to the edge of that branch, [lost] his footing, and [fell] to his death. I wouldn't be surprised if he were still down at the bottom of this river. In fact, heaven knows what else one might find if we --" the birdwatcher mused, stopping when Sonny arrived and called out to Will.

The birdwatcher recognized Sonny and suddenly realized that he had met Will once before, when the man had posed as Santa in the town square. The man recalled that Will and Sonny had been with two of the three lovely women he had met in the park just before Thanksgiving. The birdwatcher made a vague reference to the women's attempt to fool him during their first encounter, but he refused to elaborate, insisting that he had given the women his word that he would take their secret to his grave.

Will turned away from the man, who observed that Will was shaking. Sonny quickly reported that Will had forgotten his heavy coat at the apartment earlier, and he claimed that was why he had tracked Will down in the first place. As Sonny draped the coat over Will's shoulders, Will wondered how Sonny had known where to find him. Sonny explained that he had noticed that Will's boots had been missing from the apartment's coat closet. The birdwatcher praised Sonny's deductive reasoning and suggested that Sonny might make a good detective.

After saying farewell to Sonny and Will, the birdwatcher left. "Yeah. He knows," Will confidently stated as he watched the man walk away. Sonny advised Will to refrain from jumping to conclusions, but Will pointed out that Sonny hadn't arrived in time to hear all of the strange things that the man had said earlier. Sonny wondered if the birdwatcher had mentioned anything about murder, and when Will admitted that the man had never explicitly talked about murder, Sonny reasoned that the man hadn't mentioned murder because he had no idea what had really happened at the river on the night that he had first met the women.

Sonny urged Will to return home with him, observing that Will still looked like he was freezing, but Will refused to leave. Will wanted to know if he and Sonny were standing in the exact location where Nick's death had occurred, and Sonny admitted that he didn't know the answer to that question. "What do you think happens first? Do you freeze first, or do you drown first?" Will wondered, and Sonny once again replied that he wasn't sure.

"Did he deserve to die? Yeah, he was, um, you know, a terrible person, and he said terrible things to you, and he tried to steal my daughter. Tried to -- I mean, he threatened to send my whole family to prison. I mean, he tried to rape Gabi, right? Did he deserve to die?" Will asked Sonny. When Sonny conceded that Nick hadn't deserved to die, Will wondered how they could simply move on with their lives like nothing had happened.

Sonny assured Will that everything was going to be all right, reasoning that E.J. was very good at his job and would ensure that Sami, Kate, and Gabi would never get caught. Will suggested that it would be better for the women to turn themselves in and explain the circumstances surrounding Nick's death, but Sonny predicted that no one would believe Gabi and that Sami and Kate wouldn't be considered credible witnesses. Will insisted that he couldn't ask Sonny to keep the women's secret. Sonny pointed out that Will hadn't asked him to keep the secret, and he promised that he would be able to handle doing so.

Will was still worried about the birdwatcher, but Sonny assured Will that the women were confident that the birdwatcher had never seen anything incriminating on the night of Nick's death. Will sighed and doubtfully admitted that he hoped that the women were right about that. "Let's go home -- see our little girl," Sonny urged Will, who hesitantly agreed.

At Club TBD, Jordan spotted Abigail, who was enjoying a cup of coffee with Lucas. Abigail introduced Jordan to Lucas, who smiled as he silently recalled the things that Kate had told him about Jordan a few months earlier. Lucas revealed his connections to Rafe and Kate and said that they had both raved about Jordan's skills as a physical therapist. Jordan clarified that she was no longer Rafe's physical therapist, and Lucas jokingly hoped that meant that she had room to fit a new patient into her schedule, adding that he had a trick shoulder that could use some treatment.

Abigail pointedly cleared her throat and interrupted Lucas, suggesting that she and Jordan could go ice-skating together as soon as it snowed in Salem. Lucas wondered if Jordan had ever seen snow before. Jordan confirmed that she had, but she added that it had been a while. Jordan explained that she had previously lived in Birmingham, and when Lucas asked if she was planning to make Salem her permanent address, she admitted that she was seriously considering that possibility. After Jordan left, Lucas smiled as he agreed with Abigail's assessment that Jordan was nice.

Later, outside Club TBD, Kate received a text message from Abigail on Nick's cell phone -- "Nick? Where are you? Hope you're okay. Write back! Getting worried. Abby" -- and she sighed as she dismissively muttered that Abigail needed to get over it. Kate entered the club and greeted Lucas, who was standing alone at the bar. Lucas informed Kate that he had met Jordan earlier, and he smiled as he added that Kate had been right all along -- Jordan was beautiful.

Kate sighed and wondered if Lucas had been looking forward to saying that to her as a surefire way of ruining her day. Lucas didn't understand why Kate was still worried about Jordan, who was no longer Rafe's physical therapist, but he quickly realized that Rafe had traded his relationship as Jordan's patient for another type of relationship with Jordan. Lucas pointed out that Kate had previously said that she had moved on from Rafe, and she replied that, while that was still the case, she also felt responsible for Rafe because she was the person who had placed Jordan in his orbit in the first place.

Lucas wondered if Kate's private detective had ever managed to dig up some dirt on Jordan. Kate remained coy, but she revealed that she wanted Lucas to interview someone who would be arriving from Birmingham later that day. Lucas smiled knowingly as he recalled that Jordan had also lived in Birmingham before moving to Salem. Kate reported that her private detective had found one of Jordan's friends from Birmingham, and she hoped that she would finally get some answers about who Jordan really was once the friend arrived in Salem.

Kate claimed that she would back off of Jordan if it turned out that Jordan truly had nothing to hide, but she added that she was never going to have to worry about that because she was confident that Jordan was hiding something that Rafe wouldn't be happy about. Lucas knowingly guessed that Kate would be there to pick up the pieces once Jordan's secret drove Rafe away from Jordan, but Kate shook her head and insisted that the matter wasn't about her. "It's about Jordan Ridgeway -- or whoever the hell she is," Kate added before walking away.

In Rafe's apartment, Rafe greeted Gabi and Arianna and announced that they had just missed Nick. Gabi was stunned, but Rafe quickly clarified that he had been jokingly referring to his physical therapist's obvious resemblance to Nick. Rafe proudly revealed that his physical therapy session had gone really well, and he confidently predicted that he would soon be able to spend half of each day on his feet.

Gabi knowingly guessed that Rafe was eager to sweep a certain someone off of her feet -- literally and figuratively. Rafe revealed that Jordan had finally started to open up to him slightly, and he admitted that he wished that he could figure out why she was such a guarded person. Later, after Gabi left, Rafe emerged from the shower with only a towel wrapped around his waist, and he slowly made his way through the apartment.

Rafe was doing well until he neared the couch, where he suddenly collapsed. Meanwhile, someone knocked on the door. Unable to stand up right away, Rafe sighed and reluctantly called out for the person to enter the apartment. Rafe tried to act cool and casual as he greeted Jordan when she entered the apartment, and she knelt beside him to hand him the double espresso that she had purchased for him.

"Oh, cool. I could use a pick-me-up," Rafe jokingly acknowledged as he took the cup from Jordan. Rafe explained how he had ended up on the floor, and she insisted that he needed to stop overexerting himself and start listening to his body more closely. Rafe insisted that Jordan was no longer his boss, but when she conceded his point and stood to leave, he stopped her and asked her to give him a break, reminding her that he didn't like to take anything slowly.

As if to illustrate his point, Rafe leaned in to kiss Jordan, who returned the kiss before suddenly wondering if Rafe had faked the fall to create that exact scenario. Rafe assured Jordan that if he had wanted to trick her, he would have chosen to do something that would have cast him in a more flattering light. Jordan smiled and handed Rafe some clothes as she wondered if he could handle getting dressed on his own. Rafe admitted that he might need a lot of help with that task, so Jordan grabbed her cell phone and announced that she would call Pete to let him know that his services were needed at Rafe's apartment.

Rafe stood and seized Jordan's cell phone, insisting that they could handle the situation without Pete's help. Jordan started to remind Rafe that he needed to listen to his body, but he assured her that he was doing just that, and he wondered what her body was telling her. Before Jordan could respond, Rafe kissed her again.

At the Brady Pub, Abigail met with Gabi, who revealed that she and Will were planning to christen Arianna soon and that they wanted Abigail to be the child's godmother. As Abigail enthusiastically accepted the offer, she received a text message from someone. Abigail apologized as she glanced at her cell phone, sighing when she realized that the text message wasn't from Nick. Abigail admitted that she was starting to get worried about Nick, and she wondered if Gabi had heard from him recently. Gabi shook her head and vaguely stated that she doubted that she would ever hear from Nick again.

Later, while Abigail was trying to convince Gabi that T was interested in Gabi, Abigail received another text message. "Oh, finally! 'Sorry I've been out of touch. I'm great. Everything is going swimmingly. Nick,'" Abigail said as she read the text message aloud, and Gabi gasped and dropped a glass on the floor, shattering it in the process.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

As Jordan and Rafe kissed on the sofa of Rafe's apartment, Kate knocked on the door and let herself in when she found the door ajar. "I didn't realize you were in the middle of physical therapy," Kate quipped. Jumping up from the couch, Jordan apologetically clarified that she was no longer Rafe's physical therapist. Kate apologized for interrupting. Since he was wearing only a towel after his shower, Rafe headed for the bedroom to get dressed.

When the women were alone, Kate gently chided Jordan for leaving the door open. Kate apologized, explaining, "I was out of line earlier. The holidays are hard for me... I only want what's best for Rafe, and obviously you have worked miracles with your physical therapy." Kate continued, intimating that Rafe was only involved with Jordan because he was grateful. "But then again, it's the role; it's not the person... That was the reason that you kept your distance before, right?" Kate noted.

"Wait, didn't you think it was my master plan to use my role to seduce Rafe?" Jordan countered. Kate took responsibility for the tension between herself and Jordan and offered to start over. "I like the sound of that," Rafe said as he returned to the living room. Kate revealed that she was there because Arianna's christening date had been set for later that month, and Rafe had left the christening gown at Kate's place. Kate produced the gown from a shopping bag and presented it to Rafe, who was touched that the kids had waited for him to christen Arianna.

After Kate had gone, Jordan said that she was glad that Kate had arrived when she had, because things were going too fast for Jordan. "Okay, then. So now what?" an agreeable Rafe asked. Jordan suggested that they go to a sports bar to watch a playoff game together over beers. Rafe thought that sounded like a good idea. Jordan kissed him and left.

In Horton Square, Kate advised someone on the phone, "No, I won't be meeting with you. Bring our prospective employee into the offices as soon as they get in from Birmingham. My son Lucas will do the interview. Call me as soon as you're there." After Kate hung up, she muttered, "You're in for quite a surprise, Miss Ridgeway."

When Daniel went to the Kiriakis mansion, he quickly realized that Maggie had not spoken to Brady in the previous day or so. "[Brady] relapsed," Daniel advised his mom. The two of them started making phone calls to try to locate Brady, without much luck. Daniel finally left a message asking Brady to call him. As Daniel left to look for Brady in the park, he advised Maggie to check with Victor, Nicole, and Brady.

Nicole was startled when she arrived at her office at the TV station and found Eric sitting across from her desk, reviewing the proofs of her photo shoot on a tablet. As Nicole excitedly looked at the pictures, Eric asked if she had spent a nice New Year's Eve with Daniel. Hedging, Nicole pointed out that Eric could have emailed the pictures to her. "I needed to see you. It's about Brady," Eric admitted.

Comparing notes, Eric and Nicole realized that neither of them had heard from Brady except for text messages since New Year's Eve. When Nicole asked, Eric revealed that he hadn't actually gone to the meeting with Brady because it had been closed, and he hadn't seen Brady afterwards because Brady hadn't wanted to be out while the rest of the world was partying. Before Eric left to meet with Father Matt, he showed Nicole his favorite images from the photo shoot. Nicole was confident that Eric would be reinstated as a priest very soon.

After Eric left, his cell phone began to ring -- but he'd accidentally left it behind on Nicole's desk. As Nicole tried unsuccessfully to catch him, she noticed that the call was from Maggie. As soon as Eric's phone stopped ringing, Nicole also got a call from Maggie, who quickly filled Nicole in on Brady's missing-in-action status. When Nicole learned that Daniel had gone to the park to find Brady's dealer, she hung up and headed out in that direction.

Brady bought coke from his usual dealer in the seedy end of the park. As the dealer counted Brady's money, he noted, "You're short." Brady assured the guy that he was good for it. "Lucky I know you're loaded," the dealer said, reluctantly handing Brady a vial. After the dealer left, Brady tapped some coke onto his hand and snorted it. A couple of thugs showed up and demanded that Brady hand over his expensive watch and wallet, as well as the coke.

Although Brady fought back, the assailants beat him pretty savagely. While Brady was passed out on the ground, one of them cleaned out his wallet while the other searched his pockets until he found Brady's vial of coke. "Two grams? That's all you got?" the mugger complained -- just as Daniel showed up. Daniel got in a couple of punches before the thugs fled. A bleeding Brady could barely open his eyes by the time Daniel got to him.

Daniel got Brady up onto the bench and called Maggie to let her know that he'd found Brady. After he hung up, Daniel determined that the attack had bruised Brady's ribs. Nicole showed up and was relieved that Brady seemed to be all right, more or less. She helped Daniel escort Brady out of the park.

Eric went to St. Luke's and informed Father Matt that there hadn't been any developments in his case. Father Matt guessed that something else was troubling Eric. Eric confessed that he had feelings for Nicole that went "far beyond friendship." Eric admitted that he'd realized that his dreams had really been about loving Nicole. Father Matt pointed out that it was only human to have those kinds of feelings, even for a priest; the difference was how Eric acted on them.

Father Matt noted, "Ever thought, Eric, that these feelings come up in order to give you some comfort, to make you realize that if you weren't in the priesthood, you could have another life -- maybe not with Nicole, but with somebody else you could embrace? Of course that would assume...that you still want to be a priest."

Eric maintained that being a priest was his calling. Father Matt wondered if Eric's feelings for Nicole stemmed from her helping to clear his name. Eric insisted that it wasn't that, especially because Nicole had moved on with someone else -- plus he had accused her of being the one who'd attacked him. He assured Father Matt that he could handle his feelings. Father Matt said that he was praying that Eric's medical tests would reveal the truth.

Daniel tried to ease Maggie's fears when she saw what had happened to Brady, assuring her that Brady didn't need to go to the hospital. Maggie gently confronted Brady, noting that he'd lied to everyone because that was what addicts did. Brady admitted that he had played Maggie and everyone else because he'd been mad and embarrassed, and he'd wanted to be alone to get high. Maggie thought that Brady needed to get into a program, but when he refused, she insisted that he at least go to a meeting.

When Nicole returned Brady's watch, he acknowledged that there was a meeting that started in ten minutes. "I can get you there in fifteen," Maggie said sternly. She reassured Brady that she would be there with him as he confronted his "regulars." As Maggie and Brady left together, Brady paused to thank Daniel and Nicole for saving his life.

Back at the station, Nicole admitted to Daniel that she was worried about Brady slipping away again -- because he could have died. Daniel soothingly reminded her that Brady had not died. "We can't leave him alone," Nicole pointed out. Daniel asserted that Brady was lucky to have Nicole in his corner -- like everyone else she cared about. When Nicole teased Daniel, he put his arm around her playfully, and she reciprocated with an arm around his waist.

Nicole and Daniel were standing with their arms wrapped around each other, but their backs to the door, when Eric arrived. "I'm lucky to have you in my life, because whenever you're around, I feel totally safe, totally appreciated. It's like everything's going to be fine," Nicole murmured. Eric overheard and left before they saw him.

When Maggie and Brady returned from the meeting, Maggie offered to get Victor so Brady could talk to him about what had happened. Brady agreed, "Today should be the day I make amends. Why not do it in one fell swoop?" After Maggie left the room, Brady poured himself a drink.

As Abigail and Gabi had lunch at the Brady Pub, Abigail got a text message from "Nick." A freaked-out Gabi dropped her glass of iced tea on the floor, shattering it. After making sure Gabi was all right, Abigail noticed that her friend was shaking. "He didn't send that," Gabi blurted. After the mess had been cleaned up, Gabi looked at Abigail's phone and verified that the text had originated from Nick's number. Gabi tried to hide her alarm when she learned that Hope had heard from Nick when he'd first arrived in New York.

Gabi excused herself to put Arianna down for a nap, but Abigail caught on that something was up and asked if something had happened between Gabi and Nick. Recalling Kate's admonition about Arianna growing up without a mother, Gabi insisted that nothing had happened. Upset that Nick had obviously hurt Gabi, Abigail picked up the phone to let Hope know -- but Gabi practically knocked the phone out of Abigail's hand.

When Abigail couldn't get though, she remembered that Hope had gone to Smith Island with Ciara. Gabi assured Abigail that she just didn't want to think about Nick, and urged Abigail to let it go. A puzzled Abigail watched as Gabi wheeled Arianna's stroller out.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. closed the doors to the living room, refusing to let Sami leave until they settled things. Sami reminded E.J. that even if he grounded the jet, she could still walk out the door. "You answer my question first. Are you going to marry me or not?" E.J. demanded. A puzzled Sami replied, "Why are you doing this now? We had such a nice night last night... I felt like, for the first time in a long time, we were actually making progress." E.J. angrily pointed out that she hadn't even been able to kiss him -- her fiancé -- at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Sami said that she was still trying to figure out how to trust E.J. again. "But in the meantime, you're quite happy for me to clean up your semi-annual murder, aren't you?" E.J. snarled, reminding her that he had given everything he owned to his father to keep her out of prison. Sami demanded, "You want to get married? Then tell me the truth. You tell me what you knew about Kristen and Eric, and I will marry you today."

E.J. reluctantly "confessed" that he and Kristen had used the wine cellar to concoct the drugs to give Brady -- which had been E.J.'s idea. "I slipped the drugs into his drink, and then I manned the camera. You know how I like to watch," E.J. continued, but Sami didn't buy his story for a second. When she called him out, E.J. claimed that he'd only found out about Kristen sleeping with Eric one hour before Kristen and Brady's wedding -- but Sami had refused to believe that.

Sami tearfully said that she had a feeling in her gut that wouldn't go away -- and she couldn't bear to agree to marry E.J. lest yet another secret about him be revealed at the last minute. "I would never let that happen to you, Samantha -- ever," E.J. assured her. "Ever again, you mean," Sami countered. She added that she wanted to believe in E.J., but before their conversation could get any further, Sami's phone rang. She reminded E.J. that she was late.

"So I can go to Chicago, I can have the meeting, and I will come home and we can finish this conversation -- or I can pack the rest of my things and move out," Sami offered. E.J. was incredulous that Sami would threaten to move out over a business trip. Sami argued that it wasn't about the business trip, adding angrily, "I will not be your hostage!" E.J. pointed out that he had asked Sami a question, but she asked if he really wanted the answer that she would give right then.

When Sami's phone began to ring again, she cautioned E.J. that Rosemary and marketing were waiting at the airport for her. E.J. told her to go and promised to have the pilot release the plane. Grabbing her things, Sami advised E.J. that she would be back as soon as she could. On her way out, Sami thanked him for understanding. After the door had closed behind her, E.J. scoffed bitterly, "I don't understand a damn thing, Samantha. Not a thing."

When Gabi showed up at the mansion, looking for Sami, E.J. stepped in. Once she and E.J. were alone, Gabi fretted that Nick was alive. She frantically explained that she'd seen a text message from Nick to Abigail. E.J. assured Gabi that Kate had been using Nick's phone to keep up appearances that Nick was still alive.

Meanwhile, in Horton Square, Abigail was making a reservation for the ferry to Smith Island.

Gabi was worried because Abigail had been insistent about talking to Hope about what had happened between Nick and Gabi -- and that Hope would want to ask Gabi questions after she figured out that Nick wasn't in New York. E.J. took Gabi's phone and sent a text message to Abigail, which read, "Please talk to me before you go to Hope. It's crucial. XO." Abigail immediately replied that she was on her way to Smith Island to talk to Hope.

After instructing Gabi to take the baby and go home, E.J. ordered one of his men to fuel up the boat and meet him at the dock.

Abigail had just arrived outside the Horton cabin on Smith Island and was just about to knock on the door when E.J.'s voice startled her. "Don't do that," E.J. advised her with a smile.

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