After Johnny's basketball game ended, he and Sami went to the town square, where they ran into E.J. Johnny proudly announced that his team had won the game and that he had even scored some points during it. E.J. was sorry that he had missed the game, and Johnny somewhat sadly returned the sentiment. Sami assured Johnny that E.J. would attend many of Johnny's games in the future, adding that E.J. had simply been unable to attend that particular game due to work obligations. E.J. forced a smile as he silently recalled his earlier sexual encounter with Abigail -- the real reason that he had missed Johnny's game.
At the Brady Pub, Adrienne approached Abigail and said that they had some unfinished business to deal with. Assuming that the unfinished business in question had something to do with E.J., Abigail made it clear that she wasn't interested in discussing the matter with Adrienne, but Adrienne was undeterred and promised that she wouldn't take up too much of Abigail's time.
Adrienne admitted that she should have minded her own business instead of telling Jennifer about the two times that Adrienne had seen Abigail and E.J. together recently. After thanking Adrienne for acknowledging that Abigail's anger had been justified, Abigail tried to end the conversation, but Adrienne refused to leave before explaining why she had felt the need to tell Jennifer about Abigail and E.J.'s recent encounters with each other.
Adrienne revealed that E.J. had been very upset with her after she had turned over the evidence that had led to Sami's arrest for Bernardi's murder the previous summer. Abigail sarcastically muttered that she couldn't understand why Adrienne's actions had upset E.J. "He threatened me, Abigail, and I was afraid for my life," Adrienne elaborated.
Abigail started to say something, but Adrienne interrupted and politely asked for another moment of Abigail's time first. Adrienne explained that, while E.J.'s threat had initially alarmed her and caused her to feel compelled to warn Jennifer about his interactions with Abigail, she had reevaluated things after Abigail had revealed that he had read Jack's book and that it had affected him. "[E.J.] lashed out at me out of his love for Sami, and really, how can I fault a man for that?" Adrienne reasoned. Abigail remained silent, so Adrienne started to excuse herself, but she was pleasantly surprised when Abigail stopped her and invited her to stay.
Adrienne reported that Justin felt awful about the fact that he was going to be forced to miss J.J.'s sentencing hearing the following day. Adrienne assured Abigail that J.J.'s backup lawyer was fantastic and that everything was going to be fine. Meanwhile, E.J., Sami, and Johnny entered the pub so that Johnny could get a celebratory bowl of ice cream. Johnny was excited to see Abigail, whom he no longer got to see as often as he had when she had been dating Chad, so he settled into a chair at her table and started to eat his ice cream while Sami showed Adrienne some photographs from Arianna's christening.
Sami reminded Johnny that after he finished his ice cream, they would have to go to the grocery store to pick up some supplies so that he could make cupcakes for his class the following day. Sami informed E.J. that he was going to have to help Johnny with the cupcakes because she had a business meeting to attend early the following morning. Taken aback, E.J. said that, while he would love to help Johnny, the cupcakes would not be edible if he were left in charge of helping Johnny make them. Adrienne helpfully suggested that Abigail could help Johnny bake the cupcakes, but Abigail apologetically insisted that she couldn't do so.
Johnny was disappointed and started to pout, so Sami gently explained that Abigail had been busier lately because of a fairly new job at the hospital, and Abigail noncommittally promised that she and Johnny might be able to do something together some other time. Adrienne helpfully reminded Abigail that during their earlier conversation, Abigail had mentioned that she was catching up on some work at the pub so that she could take the following day off. Abigail claimed that she had forgotten about being able to take the following day off, and Adrienne cheerfully summarized that Abigail would be able to help Johnny after all.
E.J. tried to protest that he didn't want to miss out on spending some quality father-son time with Johnny the following day, but Sami reasoned that E.J. could simply help Abigail and Johnny make the cupcakes. Unable to think of a way out of the dilemma that Adrienne had created, Abigail reluctantly agreed to help Johnny with the cupcakes. Johnny cheered and hugged Abigail, who smiled awkwardly as Sami, E.J., and Adrienne watched.
A short time later, while Sami was watching Johnny play a game on her tablet computer at the bar, Adrienne told E.J. that she and Abigail had been talking about him earlier. Abigail tried to downplay the conversation, but Adrienne didn't take the hint. Adrienne revealed that she had heard about the things that E.J. had said about Jack's book, and she made it clear that she really appreciated his kind words about her late brother.
Adrienne said farewell to everyone and excused herself, giving E.J. a chance to talk to Abigail alone for a moment. Abigail explained that Adrienne had suddenly changed her mind and decided that it wouldn't be a bad thing for Abigail and E.J. to forge a friendship with each other. Abigail promised to find some sort of excuse to get out of helping Johnny make cupcakes the following day, but E.J. insisted that she couldn't do that because it would just raise questions that would further complicate the matter.
Meanwhile, Johnny called E.J. over to the bar so that he could show E.J. his gaming skills, and Abigail awkwardly watched as the family interacted with each other. Abigail started to leave, but Sami stopped her and apologized for any inadvertent pressure to help Johnny that Abigail might have felt earlier. Sami dryly reminded Abigail that Adrienne was the person who had started the whole thing. Sami said that she was glad that Abigail had agreed to help Johnny the following day, especially since it was probably going to be uncomfortable for Abigail to spend time with E.J. at the DiMera mansion.
Abigail was confused, so Sami clarified that she was assuming that the situation might be difficult for Abigail because it would likely remind her of everything that had happened with Chad. "If you think about it, it'll be good for you, you know? Spend time with E.J. and see that not all the DiMeras are like their father, you know? E.J. is really kind and sweet, and, you know, he's so loving with his kids -- and me, obviously. But, um, anyway, I'm just glad that Johnny's gonna get a chance to spend more time with you, 'cause I'm happy to have him spend time with someone that I like and trust as much as you," Sami said as she hugged Abigail, who uncomfortably thanked Sami for the kind words and abruptly excused herself.
At Club TBD, Rafe informed Lucas that Jordan had left earlier because she had learned that she was going to have to start her workday the following morning earlier than she had originally anticipated. Sheryl received a phone call from her mother and excused herself so that she could answer it, leaving Lucas alone with Rafe, who wanted to know how Kate really felt about the fact that Rafe was dating Jordan. Lucas replied that Kate was no longer in high school and that he was sure that she was okay with Rafe and Jordan's relationship. Rafe explained that he really cared about Kate, who was one of a kind, and he hoped that Lucas was right.
In Jordan's apartment, Jordan flipped through a stack of mail as she called out for Arthur, her cat. When Arthur didn't immediately respond or appear, Jordan started to look for him in his favorite hiding spot -- under the bed, which was also where Kate had chosen to hide -- but he meowed and jumped onto the bed just in time to stop her from discovering Kate.
A short time later, Jordan received a phone call from Rafe, and after a brief conversation with him, she ended the call and went to the kitchen to get Arthur some food. Meanwhile, Kate sent a series of text messages to Lucas, urging him to do something to get Jordan to go back to the club. Lucas protested that he had no idea how to accomplish that task on such short notice, but Kate impatiently warned that if he didn't think of something right away, he would lose whatever chance he might have otherwise had with Sheryl.
As an electric can opener started whirring in the kitchen, Kate stifled a sneeze from the allergies that were growing increasingly bothersome the longer she remained in the apartment. A short time later, Jordan returned to her bedroom and started to undress, but she soon received a text message from Sheryl -- "Rafe fell. Please come back!" -- and quickly put her clothes back on so that she could rush off to check on Rafe. As soon as Jordan left the apartment, Kate sneezed loudly and warned the nearby cat to stay away from her.
Jordan arrived at Club TBD while Rafe was trying to assure Lucas and Sheryl that he was fine. Lucas -- who had purposely tripped Rafe -- gave Jordan his cover story about it being an accidental tripping, and she proceeded to test Rafe's range of motion and reported that it looked like he was going to be okay. "Did you arrange this whole thing just to get me back here, Hernandez? And you helped, Lucas?" Jordan jokingly guessed. Rafe played along, urging Lucas to do some real damage the next time they tried to pull a stunt like that, and Lucas uncomfortably promised to keep that in mind.
Rafe decided to walk Jordan back to her apartment so that he would not have to listen to Lucas apologize again. As Rafe and Jordan exited the club, Sheryl mused that they seemed really good together, and Lucas uncomfortably agreed. Sheryl was eager to spend some more time with Lucas, but he abruptly excused himself, claiming that he had to go to his office to make an important overseas business call. Sheryl claimed that she understood, but she seemed visibly confused as she watched Lucas walk away.
Lucas met Kate in a secluded section of Horton Town Square, where she was still recovering from the effects of being in close proximity to a cat earlier that night. Lucas assumed that Kate had been crying for some reason, but when she explained the real reason for her watery eyes, he demanded to know how she had managed to sneak into Jordan's apartment. Kate reminded Lucas that he had previously stated that he didn't want to know the details of her scheme, but he clarified that he had changed his mind after being forced to trip Rafe in order to stop Jordan from discovering what Kate had been up to.
Kate sneezed loudly and wondered what was wrong with Lucas, who protested that she was the person who had told him to trip Rafe. Kate pointed out that she hadn't exactly asked Lucas to take care of the problem with Jordan in that specific manner, and she wondered if Rafe was all right. Lucas said that he was wracked with guilt, but Rafe was fine. Kate dismissively stated that Lucas would agree that it had all been worth it once he saw what she had found in Jordan's apartment. Kate started to show Lucas the pictures that she had taken with her cell phone, but he stopped her and insisted that he wasn't interested in seeing them.
Kate dismissively assured Lucas that his annoyance with her would eventually pass, and she proceeded to inform him that she had found a lockbox in Jordan's apartment that had contained a collection of identification cards that had been created using a number of aliases. Lucas failed to see how that information helped Kate, who couldn't tell anyone about her discovery without revealing that she had broken into Jordan's apartment. Lucas added that people often changed their name for perfectly legitimate, legal reasons.
Kate countered that Jordan's name had been changed numerous times, and she added that she wasn't going to have to share the information with anyone other than her private investigator, who would dig into the history of each name and would likely uncover some really juicy stuff about Jordan's past in the process. Lucas accused Kate of being obsessed and unable to accept that Rafe had moved on with his life. Lucas said that the saddest part of the situation was the fact that Rafe trusted Kate and had put her on a pedestal while being completely unaware of what she was doing behind Rafe's back.
Lucas challenged Kate to say that she was happy for Rafe, and she replied that she would be happy for Rafe if he were dating anyone other than Jordan. "Oh, that is pathetic, and you know it's bull. It's just a matter of time before this whole thing just catches up with you and bites you in the ass, and when it does, you're not gonna drag me down as collateral damage. I won't do it. Enough!" Lucas insisted before walking away. Kate sighed and immediately placed a call to her private investigator to let him know that she had a new job for him.
In the monastery chapel, Brother Timothy rejoined Eric, who admitted that he had realized that it had been selfish of him to focus on how Kristen's actions had affected him while neglecting to acknowledge how they had affected the church. Eric revealed that he planned to return to Salem the following day because he finally knew where he was headed and what he needed to do, thanks to Timothy's help and guidance.
In Chyka's cabin, a shot rang out as Daniel and Ricardo fought for control of Ricardo's gun. The bullet narrowly missed Nicole on its way into the painting that was hiding Chyka's wall safe. Daniel managed to knock the gun out of Ricardo's hand, and Nicole grabbed it as Daniel started to pummel Ricardo. Once Ricardo was unconscious, Daniel secured Chyka's gun and took Ricardo's gun from Nicole, who was happy to hand it over.
Daniel feared that reinforcements could arrive at any moment to help Ricardo, so after tying Ricardo up and taking the man's keys, Daniel went outside to make sure that he and Nicole were no longer in danger, taking Ricardo's gun and leaving Chyka's gun with Nicole. Daniel returned a short time later and reported that it seemed like Ricardo had gone to the cabin alone.
Ricardo was still unconscious, but Nicole had heard some buzzing noises earlier and had assumed that they had originated from his cell phone, so Daniel retrieved the phone from Ricardo's pocket and discovered that Ricardo had received several messages from someone named Bruno. Bruno wanted to know where Ricardo was, so Nicole advised Daniel to respond to the newest text message and assure Bruno that everything was fine. Daniel liked the idea and thought that it would buy him and Nicole some time to plan their next move, but seconds after he sent the reply, Bruno placed a call to Ricardo's phone.
Daniel let the call go to voicemail, and Bruno soon sent another text message to Ricardo's phone -- "Keep your phone close -- I'm coming to find you" -- which led Daniel to believe that Bruno was planning to track the phone via GPS. Daniel wanted to leave right away, since there was no way to know how long it would take Bruno to get to the cabin, but Nicole insisted that she wasn't leaving without definitive proof of Eric's innocence.
Daniel conceded the point and quickly devised a plan -- he would use Ricardo's vehicle to transport Ricardo and Ricardo's cell phone to a train station that was fifty miles away from the cabin, which would give Nicole some more time to interrogate Chyka. Daniel planned to return to Salem via train, leaving his car behind at the cabin so that Nicole would be able to use it to escape as soon as she got what she needed from Chyka. Nicole feared that she might not be able to handle the task on her own, but Daniel managed to change her mind with a quick pep talk.
After helping Daniel carry Ricardo to Ricardo's vehicle, Nicole returned to the cabin and started to film Chyka's interrogation again, asking him to tell her where he had hidden the documentation that proved that Eric had been drugged. "The boat...is leaking," Chyka cryptically replied. Nicole was confused and impatiently ordered Chyka to focus, using a football metaphor to illustrate that time was of the essence.
"Thirty-four, seventy-five, fifteen -- hike!" Chyka groggily shouted. Nicole groaned with frustration and concluded that Chyka needed another dose of the truth serum. Nicole rummaged through Daniel's bag of medical supplies and found several different vials of medication, but she didn't know which vial to choose because she was unable to remember the actual name of the drug that she needed. While Nicole was preoccupied, Chyka's vision started to improve, suggesting that the doses of the drug that he had already received were starting to wear off.
A short time later, Nicole finished filling a syringe with one of the medications that she had found in Daniel's bag of medical supplies. Before Nicole could turn her attention back to Chyka, he managed to free himself from his bindings and lunge at her in an effort to snatch the syringe out of her hand. A struggle ensued, and while Nicole quickly managed to shove Chyka off of her, she lost the syringe in the process.
Before Nicole could locate the syringe, Chyka recovered and bashed her over the head with a heavy object that he had found nearby. The blow didn't render Nicole unconscious, but it distracted her for the brief period of time that Chyka needed to grab his gun and her cell phone and make a hasty escape from the cabin in Daniel's car.
Nicole was devastated, thinking that she had just lost her only chance to prove Eric's innocence. As Nicole struggled to maintain her composure, her eyes landed on the painting of a boat that was hanging on the wall. Nicole noticed that there was a bullet hole in the hull of the ship, and she suddenly realized what Chyka had meant when he had made his earlier comment about a leaking boat. Nicole pressed a finger to the bullet hole and realized that there was something metal behind it, so she removed the painting from the wall and discovered the safe.
Nicole guessed that the sequence of numbers that Chyka had spouted off earlier had been the combination to the safe, and because of her photographic memory, she was easily able to recall the sequence. Nicole opened the safe and removed its contents, breathing a triumphant sigh of relief when she realized that she had just found the proof that she needed to clear Eric's name.
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In the town square, Nick spotted Abigail and approached her. Noticing that Abigail was preoccupied, Nick asked her if she was okay. Abigail said she was fine and asked Nick why he was dressed up. Nick explained that he was headed to work for Kate at Mad World. As Nick walked away, Abigail shook her head in surprise.
In the Brady Pub, Kate called her private investigator, Ortiz, and ordered him to dig up information on the fake identifications that Jordan had hidden in her apartment. As Kate hung up her phone, Julie entered the pub and offered Kate an apology about Nick.
When Kate asked what Julie meant, she explained that she was thankful that Kate had offered Nick a job. Julie added that she was sorry she had blamed Kate for Nick's disappearance. Julie promised to keep her eye on Nick for Kate. After Julie left, Kate cursed Nick's name.
After urging the children to get ready to bake cupcakes with Abigail, Sami entered the DiMera living room and grabbed her files for work. Startled, E.J. asked Sami if she was leaving before Abigail arrived.
"You can take care of Abigail," Sami said as she packed her briefcase. Sami apologized for not concluding their conversation that had started at the gym locker room. E.J. bristled and noted that it was impossible to conclude a conversation when they were sleeping at opposite ends of the hallway. Softening, E.J. reminded Sami that Eric was safe at the monastery. Sami told E.J. that she would talk to Eric when he returned.
Concerned, E.J. asked Sami if it was a good idea to talk to Eric about Sami's relationship with E.J. Sami explained that she wanted to tell Eric that she loved E.J. and that if E.J. had known about Kristen's plan that he would have attempted to stop Kristen. E.J. was not sure Eric could forgive him, but Sami stressed that Eric was a forgiving man. Nodding, E.J. asked Sami if she wanted to talk to Eric to convince him that Sami should be with E.J. or whether she wanted to convince herself that she should stay with E.J.
"I understand that this has been going on for months and it has to stop," Sami said. E.J. thanked her. E.J. added that he believed what Kristen had done to Eric was unconscionable. Sami said that she believed in her relationship with E.J. and that they would do what they needed to do to make their relationship work. As E.J. smiled, the doorbell rang. Noting that it was Abigail, Sami headed to answer the door.
When Sami opened the door, a nervous Abigail walked in carrying aprons and her grandmother's muffin pan. Sami called out to Johnny and thanked Abigail. After Sami left for work, Abigail sighed and walked into the living room. E.J. stared across the room at her. Johnny ran into the living room and greeted Abigail. E.J. said that he would be in his study, but Johnny stressed that his teacher had required that a parent help Johnny with the baking. E.J. agreed to bake with Johnny and Abigail.
After baking cupcakes, Johnny thanked Abigail for her help. Johnny then turned to E.J. and asked him if he knew that Abigail was "awesome." E.J. looked at Abigail and said that he did know that. Johnny thanked Abigail and then he carried a cupcake to his sister. E.J. brushed flour off of Abigail's face, and he asked her to stay and talk. E.J. closed the doors to the living room to talk privately.
When E.J. said that he and Sami had been working to bridge their differences, Abigail interrupted and said that she understood that E.J. wanted to make his relationship with Sami work. Abigail wondered aloud whether she was a distraction that E.J. wanted to remove from his life. E.J. disagreed and said that he had no negative feelings about Abigail.
"I get it. You want me to feel good about myself on the way out the door, but you know, here is the thing. Here is how I feel, E.J. I'm standing here knowing that I'm nothing but a problem for you, and you want Sami. And to be honest with you, that hurts like hell," Abigail said.
Eric returned to St. Luke's church and talked to Father Louis about his time at the retreat. Eric said that he was thankful for the time of reflection at the monastery and that he had realized what God's plan was for him. Eric said that he had made his decision and was at peace.
In Club TBD, Will had coffee with Marlena and talked about Sonny's marriage proposal. Marlena congratulated Will and asked when the wedding would be. With a shrug, Will admitted that he had not said yes to the proposal. Will admitted that he was worried about hurting Sonny because of the complications in Will's life. When Will confirmed that Sonny knew about the complications in Will's life, Marlena reminded Will that Sonny had proposed anyway. Concerned, Marlena asked why Will was waiting to answer Sonny's question.
When Will remained silent, Marlena reminded Will of when he had worried that he had asked too much of Sonny in taking care of Arianna. Will noted that Marlena had counseled him to let Sonny make his own decisions. Marlena urged Will to remember her advice. Marlena added the Will should accept Sonny's proposal if he wanted to be with Sonny.
Will thanked Marlena for listening to him, and she insisted that he could call her anytime. Julie arrived at the club and thanked Marlena for the photos of the christening. When Julie mentioned Nick, Marlena's smile fell. Julie mentioned that Nick was working with a psychiatrist and was talking to Kate about a job. As Julie celebrated Nick's good fortune, Will and Marlena stared at Julie, stone-faced. After Julie left, Marlena wondered aloud why Kate would rehire Nick.
As Kate sat down with a cup of coffee at the Brady Pub, Nick entered the pub and sat at her table. Nick talked about the job and his assistant, Percy. When Kate scoffed at Nick's demands, Nick argued that Kate should look at Nick's requests as an investment in her company's future. Nick made a bird joke, and Kate shrugged as if confused. Nick reminded Kate that she had met Percy by the river when he had been out bird-watching.
Kate smiled. Nick asked Kate if she would agree to rehire Nick and to hire Percy. Cornered, Kate agreed to have her attorneys draw up papers. Nick declined Kate's offer and asked to shake hands instead.
In her apartment, Gabi thought about when she had let Nick hold Arianna in the pub. When Sonny entered the living room, she barely noticed. Sonny asked Gabi what was wrong. Gabi wondered aloud if Nick could have turned into a decent person. Sonny was adamant that Nick had not changed. When Gabi explained that Nick had been nice to her and Arianna at the pub, Sonny grew angry.
Sonny stressed that Gabi did not have to be fake nice to Nick. When Gabi reminded Sonny that they had almost killed Nick and should make every effort not to force Nick to seek revenge, Sonny pointed out that Gabi's reasoning showed that Nick was not a nice guy if they had to be concerned that Nick would seek revenge.
Gabi explained that she believed Nick remembered the events of the night he had almost been murdered and had chosen to overlook them. Gabi wondered aloud if Nick's conscious decision not to seek revenge meant that Nick was working to be a better person.
Confused, Sonny asked Gabi if she believed that Nick was willing to overlook everyone's involvement in his attempted murder and the cover-up up of that attempt. When Gabi shrugged, Sonny stressed that Nick was conning Gabi and that she could not let Nick back in her life. Gabi said that she hoped that Nick had changed because it would be good news for them.
Frustrated, Sonny sighed and stressed that Gabi needed to see the truth about Nick. Nodding, Gabi reasoned that she meant that it would be good news for them if Nick had changed. When Gabi remarked that Nick had been sweet with Arianna when he had held her at the pub, Sonny erupted.
"You let that son of a bitch hold Ari? If Will would have walked in, Nick would have gotten murdered all over again," Sonny yelled. Gabi defended her actions noting that she had been confused in the moment. When Arianna started to cry in the bedroom, Gabi went to check on her. Sonny texted Sami that there was an emergency and that she needed to go to his apartment. Sami called in to work to buy some time then she headed for Sonny's place.
When Sami arrived at the apartment, Sonny greeted her at the door as if he was surprised to see her. Sami asked about the text, and an indignant Gabi asked Sonny why he had texted Sami. Defensive, Sonny argued that Gabi never listened to him about Nick. When Sonny mentioned that Gabi had let Nick hold the baby, Gabi explained that she had not known how to react.
Will called Sonny. Suspicious of Sonny's tone, Will asked what was wrong. Sonny lied and said that Gabi and Sami were arguing about makeup. Sonny promised to stop by the club with Arianna. With a sigh, Will informed Sonny that Kate had decided to give Nick a job.
"Kate hired Nick?" Sonny blurted out. Sami and Gabi stopped arguing and turned toward Sonny. After Sonny hung up the phone, Gabi noted that Kate had not had a choice but to hire Nick. Sami disagreed and argued that Kate had divorced a DiMera, attempted murder on a Kiriakis, and outsmarted Sami. Sami stressed that Kate did not cave in to people. Worried, Sami ordered Sonny to take Arianna to Will and for Gabi to go with her to find Kate.
Sami and Gabi rushed over to the Brady Pub. When they arrived, they saw Nick reach his hand across the table toward Kate. Before Kate could shake Nick's hand and agree to rehire him at Mad World, Sami and Gabi interrupted them. When Sami joked that it was the four of them together again, Nick acted confused and asked Sami what she meant. "Seriously? Okay don't you think we've played this game long enough?" Sami asked.
Nicole returned to Daniel's apartment with the evidence that she had recovered from Dr. Chyka's cabin. As Nicole yelled out to Daniel, she turned around and was surprised to find a sleepy-eyed Brady shuffling into the living room. When Nicole asked why he was there, Brady explained that he had needed a place to hide from Victor and Maggie for the night. Nicole borrowed Brady's phone and texted Daniel. Daniel texted back that he was on the way.
When Brady asked what Nicole and Daniel were plotting, Nicole beamed and explained that they had information for Eric. When Nicole started to explain, Brady said he did not want to hear any more and walked out. After Brady left, Nicole reviewed the evidence she had collected including Dr. Chyka's journal. Nicole repacked the evidence into the manila envelope as someone knocked on the door.
When Nicole opened the front door, she was surprised to find Eric in the hallway. "I just got home," Eric said with a smile. Nicole looked at his shirt and realized that he was no longer dressed like a priest. Both Eric and Nicole were excited to share their news with one another, and they laughed nervously as they interrupted one another.
Eric said that he had big news and that he felt he should share his news first. Worried, Nicole asked if the church had already decided Eric's fate. Eric confirmed that the church had not determined his fate but that he had decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Nicole.
As Brady walked through the town square, Father Louis said hello and asked how Brady was feeling. Noting the look of confusion on Brady's face, Father Louis explained that he had heard that Brady had missed the christening because he had been ill. Brady said he was better and thanked the priest. When Father Louis said that Eric was struggling with issues and asked Brady if he had talked to Eric, Brady lost his temper.
Brady argued that Eric had slept with the woman that Brady had loved and that he was not interested in talking to Eric. Father Louis said that he understood, and he asked Brady to remember that Eric was his brother. Brady yelled that he did not care about Eric's problems.
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At the DiMera mansion, Abigail admitted that it hurt to hear E.J. say that he wanted to be with Sami. E.J. urged Abigail not to let one mistake define who she was. As she removed her apron, Abigail explained that her family had been very hard on her brother, who was about to appear in front of a judge for sentencing, and the family held her up as an example of the kind of person a Horton should be. Abigail fought back tears as she continued that her family would be horrified if they knew the kind of person she really was.
E.J. assured Abigail that she had simply made a mistake, but she was a good person, just with human instincts and failings. Abigail insisted that her brother would be deeply disappointed in her if he ever found out what she'd done. She wondered what Chad would say if he knew that she and E.J. had slept together. E.J. asserted that he did not want Chad to find out because it would only hurt Chad. "Abigail, what we did was not evil. We made a mistake," E.J. insisted.
E.J. pointed out that people would be hurt if they learned what had happened. Abigail wanted to know if it would still have been a mistake if E.J. and Sami hadn't been together. "Or could we be together?" Abigail asked. E.J. reminded her that the reality was that he was engaged to Samantha, and he would hate for one mistake to ruin Abigail's future -- or his, for that matter. "So you wouldn't want to be with someone like me, no matter what," Abigail concluded.
Just then, Johnny ran in, still wearing his flour-dusted apron from cupcake baking with Abigail. He started to remove the apron to return it to Abigail. Tousling his hair affectionately, she informed him that it was his to keep. As Abigail headed for the door, E.J. said gently that he would be thinking about her brother later.
Johnny asked E.J., "Where's Mommy? I want to show her the cupcakes we made." E.J. said that Sami had to take care of something but should be back soon. After Johnny left the room, E.J. muttered furiously, "Whatever she's doing, it had better be bloody important!"
Abigail sat on a bench outside the Brady Pub and looked at a picture of her mom and brother on her phone. "If you only knew what I'd done... I know that this is wrong, but why do I still want him?" Abigail said to herself.
At Daniel's apartment, Eric told Nicole that he had asked to be released from his vows because he was in love with her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Although she was clearly touched, Nicole refused to let Eric go through with it. Eric assured Nicole that he had prayed about his decision. Nicole said that she loved him and would always love him, but she needed to tell him something.
Before Nicole could begin, Eric said he'd realized that God no longer wanted him to serve as a priest, and although it hadn't been his fault, the scandal continued to do damage to the church. Eric added that he was going to resign at the end of the day. "Today? No, you can't!" Nicole exclaimed. She explained that something big had happened that he needed to know about before he made any decisions about his life or his vocation. Eric guessed that Nicole had realized that she didn't feel the same way about him, but she assured him that she loved him more than ever.
Eric didn't understand what the problem was, then. "I love you, and I know that you love me. I mean, isn't this that happy ending you keep hearing about? We can be together in every way. So what do you say?" Eric murmured, gently pulling Nicole's face closer to his. Nicole reluctantly backed away, admitting that she had once dreamed of a happy ending with Eric, and afterwards, she had spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect man -- meaning someone just like him. Eric insisted that he was far from perfect.
"But you're perfect for me," Nicole clarified. She continued that when he'd returned to town, all of her old feelings and dreams of happily ever after had rushed back -- but she had known they were just dreams. Eric tried to reassure Nicole that they could make those dreams a reality, starting the next day, but she reminded him that he had said that he was still living under that cloud of suspicion. She urged him to listen to what she had to say.
Nicole excitedly described Daniel's list of doctors who had dabbled in the toxins that Kristen had used on Eric. Nicole revealed that she and Daniel had found the doctor Kristen had hired, the same doctor who had tried to kill Nicole and Eric: Dr. Chyka. "Is he in jail? Did he confess? Nicole, just tell me. Did you find anything to prove that I was innocent?" Eric asked.
When Rafe went to the police station to drop off some information with Hope about a case, the cops in the bullpen stood and applauded. Roman greeted him at the door and asked when Rafe would be back full-time. Rafe hoped it wouldn't be much longer -- but in the meantime, he'd be happy to work from home on trying to nail Stefano DiMera, working it as a cold case. "After he sent Bernardi to my hospital room, well, let's just say it's personal," Rafe explained.
Roman admitted it was personal for him, as well, and he and Caroline were praying that E.J. would finally make a big enough mistake for Sami to see what kind of man he really was. Rafe wasn't sure that Sami could be dissuaded from marrying E.J. When Rafe mentioned Kate, Roman wondered if the two of them were back together. Rafe insisted that he and Kate had broken up even before his attack and were just friends -- plus he had started dating someone else.
At Club TBD, Lucas watched from afar as Jordan and Sheryl laughed over coffee. As he recalled learning about Jordan's fake IDs that Kate had found, he grumbled to himself that his mom was going to mess things up for him again. Lucas started to leave without speaking to Sheryl, but she saw him and called out to him.
After Lucas joined the women, he referenced Jordan's early physical therapy appointment. Jordan said that it looked like her patient might never walk again. Lucas reminded her that they had said the same thing about Rafe until she had shown up. Sheryl declared that Jordan was a "damn good" healer. Lucas had to leave for a meeting with a new client but asked Sheryl to join him in a few minutes.
After Lucas left, Sheryl admitted that she was nervous about the presentation she had to make. Jordan reassured her, "You are going to knock it out of the park -- and Lucas thinks so, too. Why else would he have brought you to Salem?"
Outside, Lucas sent a text message warning Kate to back off of Jordan. "She is a good person, and her past doesn't change that. She deserves to be happy," the message read in part.
Rafe entered the club a few minutes later, and as he approached Jordan and Sheryl's table, he overheard Jordan talking about how much she loved and couldn't imagine her life without Arthur. Jordan spotted him standing there and urged him to join them. After Sheryl left to meet Lucas, Rafe sat with Jordan and greeted her somewhat coldly. Jordan asked what was wrong. Rafe said that he didn't think they were being honest with each other.
Rafe explained that Jordan knew a lot about him, but he knew nothing about her or her past. "I was fine with taking things slow, but if you're just jerking me around..." Rafe began. Jordan concluded, "Because I'm not willing to jump into bed with you, I'm jerking you around?" Rafe snapped that he thought he had the right to know if she were seeing another guy. Jordan quickly deduced that Rafe had heard her talking to Sheryl about Arthur.
Toying with Rafe a little, Jordan admitted that she and Arthur lived together. "I told you how I felt about you, and you didn't think I had the right to know?" Rafe demanded. Jordan said that she couldn't hurt Arthur because he had given up so much for her. She explained that it had been love at first sight, but then Arthur had changed; he'd gone wild, treating her belongings like toys. "My friends were right. The doctor was right," Jordan continued. Rafe's supreme irritation turned to confusion.
"Everything changed once I had him neutered," Jordan said. A sheepish Rafe realized that she'd been talking about her cat; he apologized for acting like a jerk. "When I walked in and heard you say you can't live without Arthur, I thought it was going to kill me... I don't know; maybe I'm in too deep," Rafe admitted. "Well, hey, if you are, then I'm right there with you," Jordan assured him, taking his hand across the table.
Lucas and Sheryl met with the new client in Horton Square. Afterwards, he shook hands with Lucas and declared that they had a deal. Indicating Sheryl, the client added, "She's a keeper." After the client left, Lucas told Sheryl that they made a great team. "In some ways, you coming to Salem has worked out a lot better than my mother could've ever imagined," Lucas said. Sheryl asked what he'd meant by that.
Lucas quickly covered that his mom had wanted to cast a wide net, but when he had seen Sheryl's portfolio, he'd called off the search. That "admission" thrilled Sheryl, who planted an enthusiastic kiss on Lucas' cheek -- then immediately regretted it. Lucas assured her that it was all right. After expressing her gratitude to Lucas, Sheryl left for the office.
At the Brady Pub, Nick claimed that he and Kate had just been discussing him returning to work at Mad World. "Along with your bird-watching assistant, Percy Ruggles," Kate chimed in, to Sami and Gabi's surprise. Sami was skeptical that Kate would ever want to rehire Nick -- or hire Percy -- but Nick insisted that Kate knew he wanted to atone for his mistakes. Sami wondered if Nick ever got tired of singing the same, tired song. After reminding Sami that she'd made plenty of mistakes, Nick pointed out that they had tried to murder him.
Nick tried to move on to the next topic, but Kate and Sami ordered him to clarify what he'd said. A smug Nick didn't think it was a good idea to continue the conversation in the middle of the Brady Pub, so Sami suggested they all go to the apartment. Nick asked Gabi if that were all right with her. Pointing out that the other women seemed to make a lot of decisions for her, Nick urged Gabi to start sticking up for herself. Nick stayed behind for a moment when the women left.
When Nick arrived at Will and Sonny's apartment, Sami urged him to be honest. "You tried to imply that I was dishonest. I thought it was understood that you and Kate tried to murder me," Nick replied calmly. Sami accused him of trying to blackmail Kate for a job. "Blackmail's kind of an ugly word," Nick said. Meanwhile, Gabi stood by and observed the conversation without a word. When Nick referenced Sami and Kate's attempt to murder him, Sami insisted, without admitting to it, that if they had done anything, it had been to protect Gabi.
Nick maintained that Kate and Sami had tried to get rid of him, and they had nearly ruined Gabi's life in the process. Kate pointed out that she and Sami weren't the ones who'd hit Nick over the head with a rock. Although Nick pointed out that Kate and Sami were trying to throw Gabi under the bus, Gabi admitted that she had hit Nick with the rock. Nick reassured her that she'd had every right to do so, because he completely had lost control, and he hoped that she would be able to forgive him one day.
"She is not forgiving you for attempting to rape her," Sami said firmly. Nick reminded Gabi that she hadn't wanted to push him into the river that night until the others had convinced her that he was dead. Sami insisted that she hadn't been able to feel his pulse. Nick wanted to know if Sami had let Gabi check his pulse. Asserting that Kate and Sami hadn't allowed Gabi to think for herself, Nick guessed that even after everything that had happened that night, Gabi had still wanted to save him.
"Yes, I did," Gabi admitted, to Kate and Sami's dismay. Sami stressed, "Can't you see what he is doing? We have to stick together... Gabi, Kate and I stuck our necks out for you." Nick pointed out that Sami had never done anything in her life that wasn't in her own self-interest. Sami pointed out that she had intended to call the police that night, but Kate had convinced her that not doing so was what was best for Arianna. Kate added that she was starting to wish she hadn't stuck her neck out for Gabi.
Before Gabi could freak out, Sami interceded, urging the other women not to let Nick get between them or make Gabi forget why she'd been forced to hit him with the rock. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Although Sami tried to stop him, Nick answered it -- and Percy entered. "Greetings!" Percy trilled in his customary way. "Oh, shut up!" barked Sami and Kate in unison. Sami demanded to know why Percy was there.
Nick explained Percy had saved his life. Nick described how cold the water had been that night and how his arms had gone so numb that he hadn't been able to swim. Then he had found a branch and pulled himself out of the river, and Percy had been waiting for him. Sami indignantly accused Nick of concocting an outrageous story about how they had tried to kill him by throwing him into the river. She calmly maintained that she, Kate, and Gabi had been nowhere near the river that night -- and no one would believe Nick and Percy over the three of them.
Sami revealed to Percy that Nick had been convicted of kidnapping and murder, plus Nick had a well-documented history of blackmail. While Nick stared at his feet, Percy gaped at him with disbelief. Kate warned Percy, "He's going to use you then he's going to turn on you." Nick pointed out that he had been bleeding profusely so his DNA had to be all over the woods. "I didn't say you weren't in the woods; I said we weren't," Sami noted.
Nick encouraged Gabi to speak up. "You know that this is wrong, just like you knew it was wrong that night, the night they tried to kill me," Nick said. "The night we saved you from prison," Kate reminded Gabi. Nick reassured Gabi, "You don't have to go along with this, not this time."
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Hope sipped a smoothie in the town square as she thought about the rude, dismissive way that Aiden had talked to her during their most recent encounter. "Nerve of that guy. You never have to deal with that jerk again," Hope muttered before turning to walk away, accidentally bumping into someone in the process and spilling her smoothie all over both of them.
Hope started to apologize for the accident, but when she looked up from the mess that had been made on her clothes, she realized that the person she had bumped into was Aiden. Hope retrieved some tissues from her purse and started to dab at the wet spots on Aiden's jacket as she apologized profusely. Aiden assured Hope that it wasn't a big deal, but she disagreed and promised to take care of his dry cleaning bill.
Hope couldn't resist laughing about the situation, although she was quick to stress that she truly felt awful about it. Hope went to a nearby restaurant and returned a short time later with a small stack of towels. As Aiden started to wipe his jacket off with one of the towels, Hope said that she would be happy to buy him a new jacket if it turned out that she had ruined the one that he was wearing.
Hope started to acknowledge that buying Aiden a new jacket was the least that she could do for him, but he interrupted and told her to forget about the matter. "Look, I don't want anything from you...except for our kids to get along at St. Luke's -- that's it. So how about you and I just forget that we ever met each other, okay?" Aiden suggested before handing the towel back to Hope, who sighed with frustration as she watched him walk away.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. briefly interacted with Arianna before turning his attention to Will and stating that Sami wasn't there at that moment. Will reported that Johnny had already revealed that information during an earlier conversation, adding that Johnny had also mentioned that Abigail had visited the mansion earlier. E.J. innocently explained that Abigail had gotten roped into helping Johnny make a batch of cupcakes to take to school.
Will wondered if Abigail had seemed okay to E.J., who evasively replied that he didn't know her well enough to assess her mood. Will explained that he had seen Abigail earlier and that it had been fairly obvious that there was something wrong with her. E.J. disinterestedly suggested that Abigail probably had family matters on her mind.
Will clarified that he was certain that the matter involved a guy, since Abigail had confirmed that much earlier, although she had been unwilling to reveal the man's identity. Will added that he had gotten the impression that the man wasn't treating Abigail the way that she deserved to be treated, since she had seemed unhappy earlier. Will mused that Abigail had a talent for picking the wrong men to get involved with, prompting E.J. to impatiently wonder if Will had really gone all the way to the mansion just to talk to E.J. about Abigail Deveraux's love life. "No. I came here to talk about yours," Will replied.
Will wondered if E.J. and Sami had set a date for their wedding yet, and when E.J. revealed that they had not, Will guessed that Nick's unexpected return had complicated matters. E.J. clarified that, while Nick's reappearance was certainly one of the complications in E.J. and Sami's life, things between them were just complicated in general at the moment. "Makes sense -- I mean, after what your sister did to my uncle," Will knowingly replied. Will observed that things had started changing between E.J. and Sami after the video of Eric and Kristen had been played during Brady and Kristen's church wedding.
E.J. forced a smile and noncommittally stated that he and Sami were working things out. "I hope so. And don't screw it up -- I sort of need to prove that people in my family can make a marriage work," Will cryptically replied. Confused, E.J. asked Will to elaborate, but Will simply advised E.J. not to worry about the matter and assured him that it was a good thing. Meanwhile, Arianna started to get fussy, prompting Will to guess that she had realized that her stroller had stopped moving.
Will excused himself and started to leave with Arianna, but E.J. stopped him. "William...whatever it is that you're planning on doing, don't wait for your mother and me to set a date, okay?" E.J. recommended. Will confirmed that he understood, but he added that he hoped that E.J. and Sami managed to work things out eventually, since he believed that the couple needed each other.
In Will and Sonny's apartment, Gabi remained silent as Kate and Sami advised Nick to cut his losses and leave, since he clearly had nothing on them. Nick shrugged and started to exit the apartment, but after grabbing his jacket, he paused and said that there was something else that Sami and Kate needed to know first. Speaking for the group, Kate impatiently stated that they weren't interested in hearing what Nick had to say, and Sami agreed, adding that they knew that anything that he said would be a lie.
Nick sighed and tried to assure Kate and Sami that, despite the fact that they had tried to kill him, he had returned to Salem with only the best of intentions. Percy confirmed that Nick had been nothing but kind and honest since the moment that they had met each other -- but as Percy spoke, he silently recalled that when he had offered to call for an ambulance and the police on the night that he had pulled Nick out of the river, Nick had refused the offer and instead begged Percy to help him, promising to make it worthwhile for Percy to do so.
Percy informed the women that Nick had simply wanted to heal and return to Salem to atone for past mistakes, but Sami wasn't convinced, countering that she, Kate, and Gabi had seen Nick's apologetic act before and that, as far as they were concerned, Nick was who he had always been. Sami reiterated that she wanted Nick and Percy to leave, but Nick ignored her request and instead instructed Percy to show something to the women. Percy retrieved an envelope from his jacket pocket and handed it to Sami, who skeptically opened it as Kate and Gabi gathered around her. The envelope contained a series of photographs that showed the women dragging Nick's body to the river and subsequently struggling with him after the frigid waters had revived him.
"You. Little. Bastard," Sami angrily stated. Kate observed that all of Nick's earlier statements about returning to Salem to atone for past mistakes had clearly been a load of garbage, and Sami agreed, summarizing that he had been planning to blackmail them all along. Percy took the photographs from Sami as he insisted that she was wrong, adding that, while he had wanted to report the women's crime to the authorities, Nick had refused to allow that to happen because Nick hadn't wanted Arianna's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to end up in prison.
"But you were willing to let us think that you were dead. You're all heart," Sami sarcastically told Nick, who remained silent as Percy clarified that Nick had been unable to contact the women because it had taken time for Nick to recover from the head wound and the hypothermia that he had suffered as a result of the women's actions on the night in question. Kate wondered why Percy, who had supposedly never met Nick before that particular night, had bothered to use his camera to help Nick make a case against the women in the first place. Percy innocently claimed that when he had returned to check on the women after getting concerned about leaving them alone in the park in the middle of the night, he had seen them dragging a man's body toward the river, realized what they were really up to, and taken photographs to document their crime for the police.
Kate skeptically added that Percy had just happened to have a camera with him on the night in question. "Always...because of the great horned owl. How else could I capture Bubo virginianus in its habitat so beautifully? And the three of you looked quite lovely, as well," Percy matter-of-factly replied. Sami impatiently demanded to know what Nick planned to do with the incriminating photographs.
Nick calmly replied that he had been thinking about placing the photographs in a scrapbook, since he definitely needed to save them -- if for no other reason than to keep the women honest, since they had just tried to claim a few minutes earlier that they had not gone anywhere near the river recently. "So much for false bravado, Sami," Kate muttered with a sigh, and Nick added that he was also going to save the text messages that Kate had sent to people from his cell phone. Kate feigned ignorance, but Nick wasn't fooled and revealed that she had even unwittingly communicated with him at one point, when he had posed as an unknown "friend" of his.
Nick claimed that he simply wanted a chance to start over and that if the women gave him that chance, no one else would ever have to see the incriminating photographs or find out what had really happened on the night in question. Admitting defeat, Kate informed Nick that he and Percy could start working at Mad World the following Monday. "Look, Gabi, I'm really sorry that you got caught up in this, and I want you to know that I don't think of [my scar] as a reminder of what you did to me; I think of [it] as a reminder of what I did to deserve it," Nick told Gabi before exiting the apartment with Percy.
Sami immediately locked the door and slid the security chain in place. Meanwhile, Gabi nervously wondered if there was a possibility that Nick really had changed after all. Kate groaned with disbelief and optimistically stated that Gabi had to be kidding. "No. No, unfortunately, Kate, she is not. Gabi, I love you, but you have to grow up right now," Sami firmly advised Gabi. Sami added that Gabi couldn't possibly believe that Nick had changed after everything that he had said earlier.
Gabi reminded Sami and Kate that Nick had seemed willing to keep their secret, but Kate pointed out that he had no reason to go to the police, since he had already blackmailed Kate into giving him a job and had started to guilt his way back into Gabi's life. Gabi argued that Nick had said that he simply wanted a second chance, but Sami countered that his request for a second chance had been his way of saying that "he wants whatever he wants." Sami knowingly predicted that Nick would turn the group in to the police if they ever dared to deny one of his requests, and Kate stressed that Gabi couldn't believe a word that he said.
Frustrated, Gabi wondered if she was supposed to keep doing exactly what Sami and Kate told her to do instead. "Well, it's a hell of a lot better than doing what Nick tells you to do!" Sami reasoned. Gabi still wasn't convinced, arguing that Nick had sounded sincere when he had said that he had deserved what she had done to cause his scar. Sami and Kate simultaneously groaned with frustration and decided to leave, no longer willing to listen to Gabi argue that there was a possibility that Nick had truly changed. "Gabi, please, please do me a favor and use your head. Do not buy in to Nick's bull," Sami urged Gabi before exiting the apartment with Kate, leaving Gabi looking truly conflicted.
Later, Will returned to the apartment with Arianna, and Gabi revealed that there was something that she wanted to talk to him about. Will wondered if the conversation could wait until the following day. "I have something planned with Sonny, and it would be great if we could have the place to ourselves," Will explained, adding that he had been hoping that Gabi would be willing to take Arianna back out for a while. Will acknowledged that he was asking a lot of Gabi, who hesitantly assured him that it wasn't a problem and that she would wait for a text message from him to let her know when it was safe to return to the apartment.
"Okay. You can do this," Will assured himself after Gabi left with Arianna. Will changed his clothes, lit some candles, set out a bouquet of pink and red roses, and closed the drapes to further enhance the mood of the place. "Jackson Kiriakis, this is gonna be a Valentine's Day that we will never forget," Will predicted as he picked up and stared at a framed photograph of Sonny that had been perched on a table next to the window.
Nick approached Gabi and Arianna in the town square and claimed that, while he had no intention of bothering them, he did want to make sure that Gabi was all right. Gabi wondered what Nick expected her to say. Nick replied that Gabi didn't have to say anything and that he simply wanted her to know that he didn't blame her for anything. Gabi quietly reminded Nick that he had already said those exact words before. Nick laughed, and when Gabi wondered what had caused his reaction, he said that something about the way that she was looking at him had made him think about the Valentine's Day that they had spent together the previous year. Gabi pointed out that a lot of things had happened since that particular day, but Nick asserted that it was still a day that he would never forget. Gabi remained silent as Nick walked away after saying farewell to her and Arianna.
Outside the Brady Pub, Kate was talking to her private investigator on the phone, impatiently ordering him to hurry up and find out more about Jordan before it was too late for Rafe. Meanwhile, at Club TBD, Rafe and Jordan laughed about their earlier misunderstanding about her cat. Rafe retrieved a gift box from his jacket pocket and explained that he had been planning to give it to Jordan before he had overheard her and Sheryl talking about Arthur. Jordan started to protest, but Rafe interrupted, explained that it was a Valentine's Day gift, and urged her to simply open it instead of making a big deal about it.
Jordan took Rafe's advice and found a blue executive pen inside the box. Jordan loved the gift, which Rafe had purchased so that she could stop using the cheap pens that were always leaking all over her hospital uniform. Jordan kissed Rafe, and when they pulled away from each other, he observed that people were staring at them. Rafe admitted that he wasn't really a big fan of public displays of affection, and she agreed.
Rafe revealed that he had originally planned to give Jordan her gift in a more private location, and after establishing that neither of them had anywhere that they needed to be right away, they decided to walk back to his apartment together, where things quickly progressed in his bedroom. Later, while Rafe and Jordan were lying in bed together after making love, he jokingly wondered if she was going to put that in his medical chart. Jordan laughed and assured Rafe that she had no intention of doing so, although she was quick to add that if she were to mention it in his chart, she would be very enthusiastic about his progress.
Jordan and Rafe reminisced about the first time that they had met each other, and she admitted that he had never really felt like a total stranger to her, since there had always been something about him that had made her feel like he could see right into her soul. Jordan admitted that she had been scared about that particular trait of Rafe's at first, prompting him to assure her that she never had to be scared of him.
Sami entered the DiMera mansion and slammed the front door behind her before storming into the living room and angrily tossing her purse and briefcase aside. "Unbelievable! I mean, you would not believe what a sick, twisted, sadistic, nasty...mean person he -- ugh!" Sami ranted as she tore her jacket off and threw it down on a nearby chair. Somewhat amused, E.J. guessed that Sami was talking about Nick, and he wondered what Nick's latest offense had been. Sami proceeded to tell E.J. about the incriminating photographs and Nick's plans to blackmail her, Kate, and Gabi.
"And the worst part is, he keeps claiming that it's just because he wants a chance to prove that he has changed. I swear to God, E.J., if he says it one more time, I am going to --" Sami started to say, gritting her teeth and clenching her fists tightly, but E.J. interrupted and said that she was going to do nothing because Nick held all of the cards at that moment. E.J. reasoned that the women simply needed to wait and let Nick make the next move. "That is easier said than done -- especially when you're me," Sami protested, but she didn't bother to argue with E.J. about the matter, instead heading toward the kitchen to sample one of the cupcakes that Johnny and Abigail had made earlier.
E.J. stopped Sami and wondered if she knew what day it was. As Sami checked the date on her watch, E.J. reminded her that he had given her a pair of earrings and proposed to her exactly one year earlier. E.J. sighed as he wistfully recalled how happy he and Sami had been at that particular time, and as she remained silent, he approached her with a gift box. "Happy Valentine's Day, Samantha," E.J. said as he handed Sami the gift -- a rather large square-cut diamond necklace to match her earrings and engagement ring.
E.J. joked that he was glad that Sami had managed to wrestle one of the earrings away from Ciara after losing it, since Sami would not have otherwise had a perfect matching set of jewelry. Sami acknowledged that she was going to have to remember to fulfill her earlier promise to buy Ciara a bunch of new earrings to replace the one that Sami had taken away from Ciara. Sami thanked E.J. for the necklace and admitted that she had never owned anything that beautiful before. E.J. gently kissed Sami's cheek after helping her put the necklace on, and she responded with a passionate kiss on his lips.
Sami thanked E.J. again for her beautiful necklace, and he smoothly replied that it looked even more beautiful on her neck than it had in the gift box. E.J. confidently assured Sami that they were going to get through their rough patch, but before she could say anything else, her cell phone started to ring. Sami gasped as she suddenly remembered that she had scheduled an important conference call earlier that day. Sami apologized to E.J. as she answered the call, but he simply mouthed a silent declaration of his love for her and winked as she backed out of the living room.
Daniel's apartment phone started to ring before Nicole could give Eric a more detailed report about what had happened with Chyka earlier. Nicole answered the phone and greeted Daniel, who wondered why she had sent him a text message from Brady's cell phone earlier. Nicole explained that Chyka had managed to escape and had taken her cell phone with him. Daniel wondered if Nicole had found anything that could clear Eric's name. Nicole evasively replied that Eric was actually with her at that moment, and she promised to explain everything when Daniel returned to the apartment.
When Nicole ended the call, Eric asked about her earlier revelation that Chyka had managed to escape, and she proceeded to recap the details of her adventure with Daniel. Eric was concerned when he heard that Nicole had been left alone with the man who had recently tried to kill both of them, but she assured him that Chyka hadn't done anything to hurt her before escaping. "So I guess it's over -- the world's just gonna think that I'm a hypocrite priest who had an affair with his brother's fiancée. I'm not gonna be able to clear my name. It's over," Eric quietly summarized, prompting Nicole to clarify that she had never said that.
Failing to understand the significance of Nicole's comment, Eric pointed out that Nicole and Daniel were still in danger because Chyka was on the loose. Eric urged Nicole to tell the police everything that she knew about Chyka so that the police could find and arrest the man. Nicole started to respond, but Eric stopped her when he noticed that she was shaking. Concerned, Eric wondered if there was something that Nicole wasn't telling him. Nicole vaguely replied that she was sorry for the way that things had "gone down," adding that things weren't happening the way that she had expected them to happen.
Eric stressed that Nicole had gone above and beyond the call of duty for him, but she still felt like she was letting him down. Confused, Eric wondered why Nicole felt that way, and when she didn't respond right away, he hugged her and assured her that she could never let him down. Nicole admitted that she had been wanting Eric to hug her that way for a very long time, but he could tell that she was still scared about something. Nicole clarified that she was worried about what would happen to Eric if the DiMeras found Chyka before the police did. Eric replied that Nicole needed to stop worrying about and trying to take care of him.
Nicole started to protest, prompting Eric to urge her to tell him what was really bothering her. "I hope -- I really hope -- this is the happy ending you were talking about before," Nicole said after taking a quick glance at the nearby packet of evidence that she had not yet told Eric about. When Eric lovingly stroked Nicole's cheek and assured her that it was indeed the happy ending that he had talked about before, she replied that there was nothing left for her to say.
Meanwhile, Daniel contacted Hope and arranged to meet her at the police station, where he told her about his adventure with Nicole. Hope insisted that Daniel and Nicole should not have gone after Chyka on their own, adding that if Daniel had gone to Hope ahead of time and shared his plan with her as a friend, she would have been happy to help him in an unofficial capacity. Hope reminded Daniel that if he had managed to obtain incriminating evidence without a police presence or a search warrant, it would not have been admissible in court, anyway, and she wondered if he could explain why he had chosen to handle the matter the way that he had. "Well, I can do you one better -- I can give you one of Stefano's goons, and maybe he'll lead us to Chyka," Daniel replied.
After making a few phone calls, Hope informed Daniel that there was an APB out on Chyka and that the local transit police were on their way to the train station to look for the man Daniel had left tied up and gagged in the trunk of a car. Hope was worried that neither Chyka nor the other man would be found, and she hoped that Daniel had something else that they could use to prove Eric's innocence. Daniel thought that it would be best for him and Hope to talk to Nicole about what had happened after he had left the cabin, so they headed over to his apartment, arriving just as Nicole was admitting to Eric that Nicole and Daniel's method of dealing with Chyka hadn't exactly been legal.
Nicole hugged Daniel, who assured her that he was fine and informed her that he had decided that it was time to get the police involved. Hope reported that the police department was taking over the investigation and that Daniel and Nicole's days of being amateur private investigators were over. Nicole explained that she and Daniel had simply been trying to help Eric, prompting Hope to reply that, while she understood Nicole and Daniel's motivation and could even appreciate it, they were "dead wrong" if they actually believed that it was okay to do what they had done.
Daniel insisted that the whole thing had been his idea, and Eric guessed that Daniel and Nicole had kept their plans to themselves in order to protect Eric. Nicole shrugged and summarized that the plan hadn't worked anyway, and when Hope asked if that meant that Nicole hadn't found anything incriminating in Chyka's cabin, Nicole confirmed the suspicion. Hope remained optimistic, reasoning that it was probably a good thing that Nicole hadn't found any evidence in the cabin, since that meant that Hope could still obtain a warrant to search the place legally. Eric was also optimistic and suggested that there might be something in the cabin that Chyka hadn't managed to destroy. Nicole nodded in agreement as she eyed the nearby packet of evidence from Chyka's cabin safe.
Meanwhile, Hope received a phone call from someone, and after ending the call, she informed the group that she had just received some news about Chyka.
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In Daniel's apartment, Nicole listened nervously as Hope announced that Homeland Security might have managed to locate Chyka using facial recognition software. "He entered Morocco on a flight from Paris, using a different passport. Now, assuming the police can find him and arrest him, the problem? We don't have an extradition treaty with Morocco," Hope regretfully added.
Eric sadly muttered that he was never going to be able to clear his name, but Daniel wasn't ready to give up that easily. Daniel asked Nicole if she had obtained anything during her interrogation with Chyka that could help them prove Eric's innocence. Nicole shook her head and apologetically claimed that Chyka hadn't given her anything useful after Daniel had left the cabin.
Undeterred, Daniel grabbed his jacket as he concluded that it was time to thoroughly search Chyka's cabin. "Not gonna happen. The police are there right now, and apparently someone beat them to it. The place was stripped and wiped clean, so if there is any evidence at all that would implicate Chyka or clear Eric's name, it's obviously not there," Hope announced after ending a phone call. Nicole sighed as she eyed the packet of evidence that she had found in Chyka's cabin safe.
Eric excused himself and stepped outside to call Father Matt and give him an update. After Eric left, Hope tried to ask Nicole some questions, but Nicole evasively stated that the conversation was going to have to be postponed because she needed to take a shower and get ready for work. Nicole grabbed a stack of documents -- including the packet of evidence -- and retreated to her bedroom, where she privately inspected the evidence again. "If I show [Eric] this, it changes everything...but is that what I should do?" Nicole quietly wondered.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Daniel stressed that if Hope planned to punish anyone for his and Nicole's misguided adventure, it needed to be him, since it had been his idea. Daniel added that Nicole had a criminal record and that her heart had been in the right place throughout the entire ordeal. Hope pointedly started to rattle off the litany of crimes that Daniel and Nicole had committed, but she stopped and excused herself when she received a phone call from someone. As Hope stepped outside to answer the call, Eric reentered the apartment and said that he would always be grateful for what Daniel had done to help him.
Daniel felt guilty about letting Chyka slip through his fingers, and he admitted that he probably should have let the police deal with Chyka instead. Eric insisted that Daniel couldn't blame himself, adding that it was sometimes necessary to simply accept God's plan and move on -- something that Daniel wasn't certain that he would be able to do. Eric stressed that he had been able to do so, and he revealed that he'd had an epiphany during his spiritual retreat.
Before Eric could continue, Nicole returned to the living room and said that, while she didn't have a lot of time to spare because she still needed to purchase a new cell phone before heading to work, she had something that she wanted to talk to Eric about first. Meanwhile, Hope reentered the apartment and stressed that she really needed to get a statement from Nicole eventually. Nicole nodded noncommittally as she and Eric exited the apartment.
After Nicole and Eric left, Daniel once again started to urge Hope to refrain from pressing charges against Nicole, but Hope interrupted and assured Daniel that he could relax, since Chyka was the person who would need to press charges against Daniel and Nicole, and Chyka wasn't around to do so. Hope started to excuse herself after stressing that Daniel needed to contact her the next time that he decided to do something crazy, but he stopped her and asked her to let him know what happened during J.J.'s sentencing hearing later that day.
Hope guessed that Daniel didn't want to ask Jennifer for an update on J.J.'s sentencing hearing because Daniel didn't want to make things any harder for Jennifer than they already were. Hope smiled and mused that it was obvious that Daniel still loved Jennifer, but he noncommittally replied that he simply wanted to do what was best for Jennifer and J.J. Hope wasn't convinced, and she observed that it seemed like Daniel was always trying to make everyone else happy. Hope suggested that Daniel needed to start trying to make himself happy for a change, since he deserved that much.
As Nicole and Eric strolled through the town square, she revealed that she knew that Eric had been about to share his decision to leave the priesthood with Daniel earlier. Nicole urged Eric to take some more time to think about his decision first, reasoning that there was still a chance that more evidence could surface later that could prove his innocence. Eric pointed out that he had already shared his decision with Father Matt and Bishop White. Nicole argued that Eric had not yet put anything in writing, and when he conceded the point, she suggested that it might be best for them to take some time to reevaluate things before making a final decision.
Eric wondered if Nicole was trying to say that she wanted to reevaluate their relationship. Nicole clarified that she still loved Eric, but she added that she didn't want him to rush into anything. Eric assured Nicole that he hadn't rushed to his decision to leave the priesthood to be with her, and he argued that he needed to start moving on with his life because it wasn't likely that he was ever going to be able to clear his name. Nicole suggested that if Eric waited a while longer, things might eventually get better. "No, because I have caused way too much pain for you and for the church [already]. You've given up and sacrificed so much for way too long. You're never selfish; you're always thinking of only me," Eric replied.
Eric started to excuse himself so that he could meet with Father Matt, but Nicole stopped him and wondered if he was absolutely certain that he no longer wanted to be a priest. Eric smiled and observed that Nicole was once again demonstrating just how selfless and loving she truly was, and she shrugged and summarized that she was his friend. Eric hoped that he and Nicole could soon be much, much more than just friends, and he promised to call her later. After Eric left, Nicole retrieved the packet of evidence from her purse and muttered that she needed a sign to let her know if she was doing the right thing or the wrong thing.
A gift box arrived at Club TBD for Sonny, and one of his employees delivered it to him. Sonny curiously observed that there wasn't a card attached to the gift box, but when he opened it, he quickly realized who had sent it. The gift was a leather scrapbook, and a message -- "S.K." on the first line, "I love you" on the second line, and "W.H." on the third line, each of which was printed in white block letters that were outlined in black -- was perfectly centered and clearly visible through a presentation window on the front cover.
Sonny smiled as he opened the scrapbook and found a picture of him and Will on the first page, with the caption "Sonny and Will: A love story told in pictures" handwritten below it in slightly funky block letters. Sonny closed the scrapbook, placed it back in the gift box, grabbed his jacket, and politely asked the employee who had delivered the gift, Terry, to finish the invoices that Sonny had been working on. Sonny explained that he had somewhere that he needed to be, and Terry happily accepted the task.
Sonny returned to his and Will's apartment and called out for Will after pausing for a moment to appreciate the romantic atmosphere that Will had created with candles, roses, and dimmed lighting. When Will emerged from his and Sonny's bedroom, Sonny observed that Will was wearing the shirt that Sonny had given him the previous Christmas. Will recalled that he had promised Sonny that the shirt would be saved for special occasions, and Sonny wondered if that meant that Valentine's Day had made the cut. "Oh, this is more than just Valentine's Day," Will cryptically replied before passionately kissing Sonny.
As Sonny took a seat on the couch and started to flip through the scrapbook, Will discreetly retrieved something from a shelf behind the couch. Will hid the item behind his back as he joined Sonny on the couch. "Baby, you put so much time and effort into this. It's so...amazing. I feel like my gift is gonna be lame now," Sonny told Will. Will was confident that he would love Sonny's gift, and he urged Sonny to hand it over.
Sonny retrieved a wrapped gift from his briefcase and started to preface that it was more of a token than anything else, but Will impatiently interrupted and once again instructed "Kiriakis" to hand it over. Sonny smiled as he handed the gift to Will and anxiously urged Will to hurry up and open it. Will removed the wrapping paper, revealing an old hardcover copy of a novel that E. M. Forster had written. Sonny explained that he had assumed that Will might enjoy the book, especially since Will was pursuing a writing career.
Will recognized E. M. Forster as the author of A Passage to India, but he admitted that he had never read the novel that Sonny had just given him, Maurice -- the title of which Will read using the most common pronunciation of that particular name. "It's actually pronounced 'Morris.' It's a gay love story about a guy named Maurice who knew that he was gay from his early teens, and Forster wrote this in 1913, but it didn't get published till the '70's, after he was dead," Sonny explained. Will knowingly guessed that it had taken that long for the novel to get published because it had been about a gay man.
"Mm-hmm. Being gay was illegal back then in Britain, and people would actually get sent to prison because of it," Sonny elaborated. Will nodded and recalled that he had read about that sort of thing in Oscar Wilde's poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Sonny mused that he and Will were lucky because people were much more accepting than they had once been, and Will agreed that people were much more accepting in some places.
Will thanked Sonny for the cool gift, stating that he loved it and planned to start reading it right away. Sonny was glad to hear that Will liked the gift, and after a quick kiss, Will pulled away from Sonny and casually added that he had almost forgotten to mention that there was another page that needed to be added to the scrapbook. Will revealed the item that he had retrieved from the shelf earlier, and he handed it to Sonny facedown.
"February 14th, 2014 -- the day Will finally wised up and said...yes to Sonny," Sonny read aloud, and he smiled as he realized the implications of the message. Sonny wondered if the message meant what he thought it meant, and Will confirmed that it did. Sonny managed to set aside his excitement for a moment so that he could make sure that Will was ready to take the next step in their relationship, since Will had recently expressed some reservations about getting engaged right away.
"I was -- I was just so worried about all this baggage that I was dragging with me, you know? This whole Nick thing, and my mom always getting into trouble, and Stefano stealing that evidence from the cops, and I'm still in school -- I mean, the list is endless. But I realized that if we keep waiting for these things to get taken care of, then [it might never happen], and we would have wasted so much time trying to fix things that weren't fixable. So, um...if the offer still stands?" Will asked Sonny, who barely managed to joke that he needed a moment to think about the matter before excitedly confirming that the offer did indeed still stand. "Well, um...Sonny Kiriakis, I would love to marry you," Will said.
Sonny wrapped his arms around Will and passionately kissed him. Later, while Will and Sonny were lying in bed together after making love, Sonny declared that it was the best day of his entire life. "Actually, this is my second-best day. Not that I don't love you, and you're the most important person in my life, but this is the second-best day, because the best day of my life was when Ari was born. Holding her in my arms and watching her come to life -- there will never be anything like that," Sonny clarified. Will pointed out that Sonny would be Arianna's stepfather once they were married, and Sonny excitedly summarized that they would officially be a family.
Sonny wondered if Will had told Gabi about his decision to accept Sonny's marriage proposal. Will admitted that he had not, but he was certain that Gabi would be okay with the decision, since she and Sonny had settled their differences. Sonny nodded and added that nothing would really change for Gabi, who would be welcome to continue living in the apartment with him and Will after their wedding.
Pointing out that it was easy to get carried away on Valentine's Day, Sonny wondered if Will was sure that the holiday hadn't caused him to make a spur-of-the-moment decision that he would not have otherwise made. "Absolutely not. I have been thinking about this since the day you asked. And marrying you, it's just -- it's right. In fact, you know what? Let's get married today," Will spontaneously suggested. Sonny laughed and advised Will to slow down. "This is marriage. That means we gotta do it right -- family, friends, fantastic ceremony," Sonny summarized.
Will laughed and clarified that he had mostly been joking, but he added that he didn't want a long engagement -- especially not one that lasted even half as long as E.J. and Sami's ongoing engagement. Sonny wondered if Will's family would be supportive of their engagement, and Will predicted that they would be. Will posed the same question to Sonny, who was certain that Justin and Sonny's brothers would be supportive, but wasn't quite as confident about how Adrienne was going to feel about the matter.
Sonny pointed out that he and Will were going to have to start creating a guest list, since they were going to want both sides of their family in attendance. "Except for Nick," Will and Sonny simultaneously clarified, and they laughed as Will added that he hated Nick. Will conceded that there was a lot of stuff that he and Sonny needed to get done before the wedding, and Sonny agreed before adding that it could all wait until later. Sonny passionately kissed Will, and they started to make love again.
At the Horton house, Abigail entered the living room and greeted J.J., who jumped slightly when he heard her voice. Abigail observed that it seemed like J.J. was nervous, and while she conceded that she would feel the same way if she were in his shoes, she also reminded him that he had seemed quite confident the previous night. "Last night, I wasn't going to face a judge and be sentenced; today, I am," J.J. replied. Abigail helped J.J. with his tie as she assured him that he was going to be fine, reasoning that he had nothing to worry about because he had complied with the judge's request to stay out of trouble.
Later, J.J., Jennifer, and Abigail met J.J.'s backup lawyer -- Aiden Jennings, who wondered how J.J. was feeling. J.J. admitted that he was nervous. Aiden understood and optimistically predicted that the hearing would probably be nothing more than a formality, although he added that there had been a slight hiccup. "A letter came in to the judge last night. It was pretty negative -- saying that you don't deserve a break, you shouldn't be trusted, things like that," Aiden reported, shocking everyone.
J.J. nervously wondered if Aiden knew who had written the letter, and Aiden replied that it had been sent to the judge from the owner of the store that J.J. had stolen merchandise from several months earlier. Abigail wondered if the store owner had decided to press charges against J.J. after all. "No, she, uh -- she just wanted to express to the judge that she doesn't think J.J. should get off scot-free. She suggested community service, which actually is right in line with what the judge is thinking anyway," Aiden clarified. Jennifer was relieved, and Abigail comfortingly assured J.J. that everything was going to be fine.
Jennifer wanted to talk to Aiden privately, so she arranged to meet J.J. and Abigail at the courthouse. "Mr. Jennings, I need you to be honest with me. Is there a chance that my son could go to prison? Because I'm telling you, if I walk out of that courtroom today without my son, I don't know what I'm gonna do," Jennifer admitted after Abigail and J.J. left. Aiden doubted that there was anything to worry about, since Justin had struck a terrific deal with the district attorney, and there was no reason for the judge to refuse it. Jennifer thanked "Mr. Jennings," who urged her to call him Aiden instead, and they headed to the courthouse together.
At the Horton Town Square, Theresa enviously admired an expensive designer purse that was on display in a store window. "I could've had that. Then J.J. screwed me over. God," Theresa bitterly muttered. Theresa turned to walk away, but Brady blocked her path. Brady said that he knew what Theresa was doing, and he advised that she really needed to let it go.
Theresa defensively started to protest that Brady had no idea what he was talking about, but he interrupted and guessed that she was about to argue that he was rich and therefore couldn't possibly understand what it was like to want expensive things. Realizing that Brady was referring to the purse that she had been eyeing earlier, Theresa played along and clarified that it wasn't just any purse -- it was a limited edition purse that she could only dream of one day owning. "Well, good things come to those who wait, right?" Brady reasoned, prompting Theresa to urge him to refrain from rattling off more of the clichés that he had recited during their previous encounter.
Brady joked that he liked playing the cliché game and that he had plenty of other clichés that he could share with Theresa, who laughed and suggested that she might be willing to meet him at Daniel's apartment later so that they could continue playing their game. Brady clarified that he was no longer staying at Daniel's place because Daniel had returned to Salem that morning. "Guess you'll need to find a new place to drink in secret," Theresa knowingly summarized. Brady stressed that he wasn't trying to hide his drinking habits and that he simply liked his privacy. Unconvinced, Theresa playfully assured Brady that she could keep a secret, and she walked away as he loudly reiterated that he wasn't trying to be secretive.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie gushed about the museum that she and Victor had just returned from visiting, and she thanked him for being romantic enough to take her there for Valentine's Day. Victor claimed that he hadn't been concerned about romance and that he had simply wanted to satisfy a craving for the soft pretzels that the museum served in its café, but Maggie wasn't fooled.
Maggie apologetically reminded Victor that, while she would love to stay at the mansion and relax with him, she had to go to the courthouse to support Jennifer and J.J. Maggie wondered if Victor believed that the judge would show J.J. some leniency. "Goldberg? I've played poker with him. He's sort of a tight-ass; hard to read," Victor replied. Victor wished Maggie luck at the hearing and added that he was planning to meet with Brady later to discuss some Titan business matters.
Maggie begged Victor to talk to Brady about rehabilitation programs if the opportunity presented itself, but Victor was reluctant to do so because Brady was already being closely monitored in the corporate suite. Maggie argued that Brady was an addict who was using alcohol as a substitute for cocaine, and she predicted that there was only one way that the situation could end if she and Victor didn't talk Brady into entering a rehabilitation program right away. Victor promised to keep a sharp eye on Brady, but he added that he believed that, given the circumstances, Brady was handling things quite well and couldn't be faulted for having an occasional glass of alcohol. Maggie countered that addicts could be quite deceptive when they wanted to be, and she left after adding that she hoped that Victor knew what he was doing, since Brady's life could depend on it.
Brady arrived at the mansion later that day, and after he and Victor concluded their meeting, Brady suggested that it was time for them to celebrate the earnings that they were projected to make that year. Brady approached the living room bar and offered to make Victor a dry martini, recalling that it was Victor's drink of choice. Victor pointed out that some people might be inclined to argue that it was too early to start drinking, but Brady disagreed. "Besides, as I recall, when you had your martini was never as important as how dry it was," Brady jokingly reminded Victor.
Victor wasn't amused, so Brady asked if something was wrong. Victor shook his head and invited Brady to have a drink, acknowledging that Brady had earned it. Victor watched as Brady poured himself a drink and downed it in one gulp. Victor declared that Brady had just consumed the only drink that Brady was allowed to have that day.
Stunned, Brady laughed and observed that it was obvious that Victor still didn't trust him. "Should I? It's ten-thirty in the morning. You just threw down three ounces of eighty-proof," Victor replied. Brady groaned with frustration, grabbed his briefcase and jacket, and stormed out of the mansion, muttering that work was done and that he didn't need to deal with Victor's scrutiny any longer. Later, Brady went to Club TBD and ordered a drink. Terry offered Brady a refill after Brady drained the glass, but Brady declined the offer and exited the club.
At the courthouse, J.J. and Abigail greeted Abe, who planned to stick around for the sentencing hearing so that the judge would know that people were in J.J.'s corner. Abe confidently predicted that Jack would have been really proud of J.J.'s recent behavior and that everything was probably going to be fine. Abe excused himself so that he could answer a phone call, and Abigail went to get J.J. a bottle of water after J.J. admitted that he felt like he had firecrackers in the pit of his stomach instead of butterflies.
"Brings back old times, huh?" Theresa guessed as she entered the courtroom. J.J. demanded to know what Theresa was doing at the courthouse, so she explained that she had gone there to pay a parking ticket and had decided to wish him luck, since she had known that his sentencing hearing was being held that day. J.J. pointedly reminded Theresa that she would be headed back to California later that night in handcuffs if she tried to cause trouble for him during the hearing.
Theresa sighed and dismissively advised J.J. to relax, acknowledging that she had lost and he had won. Theresa admitted that she was still trying to get over the defeat, and J.J. suggested that she needed to try a bit harder elsewhere. Meanwhile, Abigail returned and demanded to know what Theresa was doing at the courthouse. "Wishing your baby brother good luck. Maybe we'll both get what we want today," Theresa innocently replied before leaving the courtroom.
Later, Judge Goldberg started the hearing and asked if J.J. was aware that there had been a fourteen percent increase in the number of teenage shoplifting cases in Salem during that year. Without waiting for a response, Goldberg mused that, while he understood that J.J. was not solely responsible for that increase, he was beginning to think that he needed to send a message to the city's youth via his ruling on J.J.'s case.
Aiden respectfully argued that J.J.'s deal had been struck with the district attorney months earlier and that it wouldn't look good for Goldberg to suddenly choose to break his earlier promise to accept the plea bargain in exchange for J.J.'s good behavior. Goldberg conceded that it seemed that J.J. had managed to adhere to the terms of their deal, but he added that a few months of good behavior -- or, at least, a few months of managing to not get caught doing bad things -- wasn't really much of an achievement at all. Goldberg instructed J.J. to stand, and when J.J. complied with the request, Goldberg wondered what J.J. had to say for himself.
"Your Honor, I have made a lot of mistakes since I came home from England, and I kind of understand where you're coming from when you think that I'm getting off easy, but -- but see, I know something...in [my heart]...and I have learned my lesson. My life has taken this total one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn. And I'm not bragging -- I made it because of my mom, my sister, and my whole family. They never gave up on me; they probably should have, but they didn't. And if I can get the chance, I'm gonna try somehow to pay them back...by not screwing up and by making sure that some -- something like this will never happen again. I love them -- I love every one of them. They're really what's important, and if you give me a chance --" J.J. sincerely stated, his voice cracking at times, until Goldberg impatiently interrupted and said that he had heard enough speechifying and was ready to make a ruling.
"I am wary of giving you a second chance, Mr. Deveraux. Seems to me you've had a whole slew of second chances, and you've blown every one of them. However, you have obviously tried to change, and...you do seem sincere. Therefore, the original plea agreement stands -- you're sentenced to one year probation [and] one hundred hours of community service. We're done," Goldberg somewhat irritably stated before pounding the gavel down on the bench and exiting the courtroom. J.J. breathed a sigh of relief as Jennifer, Abigail, Maggie, and Abe celebrated the ruling. Jennifer thanked Aiden for his help, and after he left the courtroom, she started to gush about the things that J.J. had said earlier. J.J. assured Jennifer that he had meant everything that he had said during his earlier speech.
Outside the courtroom, Aiden placed a phone call to Justin and informed him that J.J.'s sentencing hearing had gone well. As Aiden ended the call, Hope bumped into him, and he joked that he was glad that she hadn't had a smoothie in her hand that time. Hope sighed and wondered how many times she was going to have to apologize to Aiden, but before he could respond, Maggie interrupted and excitedly told Hope that J.J.'s sentencing hearing had gone well. Maggie observed that it seemed like Hope had already met J.J.'s lawyer, Aiden, who had been instrumental in getting the judge to accept the plea bargain. Aiden smiled smugly, enjoying the look of surprise on Hope's face.
Meanwhile, back inside the courtroom, Abe said farewell to J.J. after predicting that Jack was smiling down on J.J. at that moment. After Abe left, Abigail told a somewhat reserved J.J. that it was okay for him to also start smiling, since his legal ordeal was finally over. J.J. remained silent as he thought about the cryptic comment that Theresa had made earlier about how they might both get what they wanted that day, and Abigail interrupted his thoughts to ask him if something was wrong.
Meanwhile, Daniel opened his apartment door and found Theresa standing in the hallway. Daniel started to protest that it wasn't a good time, but she ignored his objections and barged into the apartment. "Don't give me the condescending tone. Now, Daniel -- we're gonna do this now," Theresa insisted.
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