At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady received an unexpected visit from John, who had just returned from a trip to Paris. Assuming that John had heard about Nick's death and was looking for Maggie, Brady started to explain that she wasn't at home, but John interrupted and clarified that he had something to show Brady.
"It took me months, kid, and I had to call in a lot of favors at the ISA," John vaguely stated as he handed a folded document to Brady. Brady took the document but didn't inspect it, instead asking John to elaborate. John remained cryptic, excitedly summarizing that Brady was ready for the next step because Brady had stopped drinking and had pulled himself together. John said that Brady could read all of the details on the jet, which was fueled and ready for takeoff. Brady impatiently interrupted and demanded to know what John was talking about.
"Kristen DiMera. Everything we need to track her down is right there in your hands," John explained. Somewhat intrigued, Brady flipped through the documents as he wondered if John really knew where Kristen was. "I know where she's been, and that is the key to finding her. We figure out the pattern, we figure out where she's headed next," John clarified. John told Brady that the search would be good for both of them, since it would give Brady the opportunity to finally move on with his life.
Brady told John to give the information to the Salem Police Department so that they could find Kristen, lock her up, and throw away the key. "I don't want to spend one more second of my life thinking about that bitch Kristen DiMera!" Brady angrily added. John protested that he and Brady couldn't risk losing what might be their only chance to locate Kristen and make her pay for what she had done to them. Brady objected to John's continued implications that they were somehow on the same team. John argued that Kristen had victimized him and Brady, and he insisted that Brady would never recover unless Kristen was apprehended.
Brady asserted that he had moved on from Kristen and John. John protested that he would always be Brady's father. "Yeah, and that -- that would have been a -- a good thing to have -- a dad -- back then, when I was younger. But that -- that -- that's beside the point, Dad. You know what? The fact is, I am fine now. I'm getting along fine without you now, just like I got along fine without you then," Brady bitterly replied before storming out of the mansion.
As J.J. and Paige neared the entrance to Club TBD, she received a phone call from her mother. Paige excused herself so that she could answer the call, urging J.J. to go ahead and find a table for them inside. J.J. entered the club and called out for Sonny at the bar. "Isn't it past your bedtime?" Theresa asked as she approached J.J. from behind.
When J.J. turned to face Theresa, she warned that he had five seconds to wipe the judgmental look off of his face. J.J. clarified that he wasn't judging Theresa and that he didn't want to start anything with her, since life was too short. Theresa wondered if J.J. had something better to do, and before he could respond, she peeked outside and spotted Paige.
As J.J. pulled Theresa back inside the club, she laughed and deduced that he was on a date with the girl. Theresa observed that the girl looked like a clean-cut, strait-laced person. J.J. suggested that Theresa needed to mind her own business, but she ignored the suggestion and rubbed his shoulders as she wondered if the girl had met the real J.J. yet.
J.J. suggested that he and Theresa could just pretend that they hadn't seen each other that night, but she wasn't interested in doing that. Theresa observed that J.J. looked kind of clean-cut himself at that particular moment, and she wondered if he believed that he could simply cover up his past with some nice clothes. J.J. insisted that he wasn't trying to hide his past, but he added that he wasn't the same person he had once been. J.J. stressed that he no longer used drugs or fought with people. J.J. added that he was no longer interested in hanging out or hooking up with people like Theresa.
"No, that doesn't change you, J.J. -- who you are, what you are. You know, you can't keep up this act forever," Theresa warned J.J., who insisted that it wasn't an act. Unconvinced, Theresa cautioned J.J. that Paige would soon figure out who he really was. J.J. clarified that Paige already knew who he was -- and who he had been in the past. J.J. confidently declared that Theresa couldn't do anything to mess up his relationship with Paige, prompting Theresa to counter that she wouldn't have to, since he would eventually mess it up himself.
Theresa guessed that there had to be something that J.J. hadn't shared with Paige, such as the fact that he had once broken the terms of his plea bargain in order to go to Theresa's apartment and have sex with Theresa. J.J. reminded Theresa that they had never actually slept together, but she playfully countered that he had wanted to have sex with her and that it hadn't been his choice to end things prematurely. "It's a good thing that I grew up, 'cause now, you couldn't pay me," J.J. disgustedly replied.
Theresa scoffed and summarized that J.J. hadn't changed -- he had simply taken a bath. Theresa confidently predicted that the real J.J. would eventually emerge again. J.J. angrily called Theresa a "pathetic loser," and she countered that he needed to look in a mirror. Theresa suggested that she had always been able to get J.J. "hot and bothered" because he was just like her. "All right, bitch, you need to shut your mouth!" J.J. snapped through gritted teeth as he tightly clenched his fists and glared at Theresa. Satisfied, Theresa smiled and said that was the J.J. she wanted his "sweet little girlfriend" to see.
J.J. exited the club without saying another word to Theresa. Outside, Paige was just ending her phone call, and J.J. quickly escorted her away from the club, suggesting that they could go somewhere else instead. J.J. took Paige to the Brady Pub, where she told him about the classes she was planning to take during her first semester of college. Paige seemed particularly excited about a psychology class, so J.J. wondered if she liked the subject. Paige confirmed that she liked knowing what made people tick "behind the pose."
"Well, maybe there's no pose. Maybe it's just the way it looks," J.J. suggested, but Paige asserted that there was always more to the story. Changing the subject, Paige observed that J.J. had been edgy since they had left the club earlier, and she encouraged him to tell her what was wrong. J.J. claimed that nothing was wrong, but Paige wasn't convinced, since he had been excited about introducing her to Sonny earlier but had abruptly changed his mind for some reason during her phone conversation.
J.J. shrugged and claimed that he simply liked the Brady Pub more than Club TBD, but Paige could tell that something else was going on. "It's like you're a different person than you were an hour ago," Paige observed. J.J. wondered if he and Paige could just have a good time without getting "all analytical or whatever" with each other. Paige clarified that she hadn't been trying to psychoanalyze J.J., and she added that it was kind of hard to have a good time with him when he was acting moody. Paige conceded that she couldn't force J.J. to discuss the matter if he didn't want to do so, but she urged him to at least admit that something was wrong.
J.J. maintained that nothing was wrong, but Paige still wasn't convinced. Paige stood to leave, and J.J. rushed to stop her. Paige assured J.J. that she could find her own way home, and she told him that she was going to leave him alone because that was clearly what he wanted. J.J. tried to object, but Paige ignored his protests and exited the pub.
Brady entered Club TBD and found Theresa sitting at the bar. Brady approached Theresa and drained her glass of whiskey without saying a word to her. "Wow. I wasn't thirsty, anyway," Theresa flirtatiously assured Brady. Theresa tried to engage in a round of small talk with Brady, but he wasn't interested, so she eventually abandoned the idea and encouraged him to tell her what was on his mind. "Us," Brady replied.
Brady and Theresa ordered another round of drinks and took them to an empty table so they could continue their conversation. Theresa teasingly wondered if Brady wanted to chastise her again for being innocent for once. Realizing that Theresa was referring to what had happened with Liam, Brady pointed out that she had lied about what she had known about Liam. Brady added that there could have easily been a more tragic ending to the ordeal, and Theresa conceded that he was right.
Theresa claimed that she had simply been unable to see any other way out of that particular situation. Brady knew the feeling and summarized that Theresa had been scared. Theresa reminded Brady that she was also "kind of a selfish bitch," but he reasoned that she deserved credit for owning that character flaw. After draining his glass, Brady excused himself and exited the club, but Theresa rushed after him and seized his keys, insisting that he was in no shape to drive. Theresa offered to take Brady back to her place, and he backed her against a wall of the club as he started to kiss her.
In Hope's office at the police station, Lucas defensively answered one of Hope's questions -- which had already been asked and answered multiple times -- and wondered why she was being particularly hard on him. "You have to ask? You really don't know why you wouldn't get a second or third look? Lucas, you did time for shooting E.J. DiMera," Hope reminded Lucas.
Lucas protested that the circumstances surrounding Nick's shooting had been completely different than the circumstances surrounding E.J.'s shooting, but Hope disagreed, succinctly summarizing that, in both cases, the victim had been giving Lucas trouble. "You were the only one in the square with a criminal record involving use of deadly force and a firearm," Hope added, and she warned that Lucas' defensiveness was only making him look guiltier. Meanwhile, Hope's office phone rang, and after a brief conversation, she turned off her recording device and abruptly excused herself.
While Hope was gone, Lucas paced the floor. Lucas tried to read Nick's case file, which Hope had left open on her desk, but before he could get more than a glance at it, the office door swung open. Lucas quickly returned to his seat and tried to act casual as Hope reentered the room, carrying a folder. Hope apologized for the interruption and resumed the interview, asking Lucas to describe the last time he'd had contact with Nick.
Lucas claimed that he had last been in contact with Nick a few months earlier, when they had spoken briefly in the town square during a meeting Nick had been having with a fellow Mad World employee. Hope folded her arms and stared at Lucas skeptically, so he added that, while he and Nick had worked at the same company, they had worked in different divisions and had therefore rarely interacted with each other.
Hope turned off the recording device and warned that lying to her wasn't a good plan. Hope turned the device back on and repeated her earlier question, but Lucas maintained that he hadn't been in contact with Nick since the chance encounter he had detailed earlier. Hope turned her attention to the folder she had carried into the room earlier. "Nick Fallon was shot at 8:45 p.m. on the night of the murder. At 8:35 p.m. on the same evening, you and Nick had a text exchange," Hope summarized as she read one of the enclosed documents.
"Wait a minute -- you call that 'contact'?" Lucas innocently asked. Hope didn't seem to buy the innocent act, but she nevertheless impatiently confirmed that written communication counted as contact for the purposes of the investigation. Lucas admitted that he and Nick had exchanged text messages on the night of Nick's death, but when Hope asked for a summary of the conversation, Lucas claimed that he couldn't remember what he and Nick had said to each other.
"Well, your service provider does. Should I start reading the messages? Text from Lucas Horton to Nick Fallon, time-stamped 8:33 p.m., reads, 'Where are you?' Reply from Nick Fallon to Lucas Horton, time-stamped 8:34 p.m. -- 'The park.' We have determined that the park is where Nick Fallon was shot. Nick's phone was discovered by a jogger in the park. Lost and Found turned it over to us. That's how we know about the text. So, Lucas, for the last time, for the record...tell me exactly what happened between you and Nick when you went to the park," Hope asked as Lucas squirmed in his chair.
Lucas claimed that he had wanted to go to the park to give Nick a piece of his mind but had decided against doing so because he had known that he had been too angry to confront Nick at that particular time. Lucas claimed that he had avoided the park entirely and had instead gone straight to the town square to pick up Allie. Hope impatiently ordered Lucas to hand over his cell phone, and after a few objections, he reluctantly complied after confirming that she had already obtained a warrant to search the phone.
Hope was unable to locate the text messages on Lucas' cell phone, so he shrugged and admitted that he had probably deleted them. Lucas claimed that he regularly deleted text messages that weren't important, but Hope skeptically inspected his inbox and found trivial text messages from Will and Sami that were months old. Lucas argued that it wasn't fair to compare those messages to his exchange with Nick, since Will was Lucas' son and Sami was the mother of Lucas' children.
"Oh, come on, Lucas, cut the bull! You deliberately erased the text messages with Nick after he turned up dead! Isn't that true?" Hope impatiently demanded to know. Lucas claimed that he couldn't remember when he had deleted the text messages, but Hope warned that his service provider would be able to tell her exactly when the messages had been deleted. "I did not kill Nick. I didn't do it. I didn't!" Lucas insisted, prompting Hope to wonder why he was going out of his way to make himself look guilty.
Lucas claimed that he had deleted the messages because he had known how they would have looked to others. Lucas apologized and admitted that he hadn't been thinking clearly at that particular time, but Hope informed him that it was too late. Lucas wondered if Hope was planning to arrest him. Hope clarified that she wasn't planning to arrest Lucas yet, but she warned that she had obtained a warrant to search his house, car, and personal effects. Hope added that the warrant allowed her to seize the clothes Lucas had been wearing the previous night, as well as any weapons he owned and any other evidence that might pertain to the investigation.
Lucas maintained his innocence, so Hope urged him to hand over his passport as a sign of good faith.
In the park, the hit man asked Sami if she knew who he was, and she confirmed that she did. "Then you know it's in your best interest to do what I say," the hit man summarized. The hit man handed Sami a piece of paper as he explained that he needed to see E.J. right away. Sami protested that it was too soon for E.J. and the hit man to be seen together in public after what had happened the previous day, but the hit man ignored her objection. "Half an hour. Tell him not to be late," the hit man instructed Sami before walking away.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. and Marlena comforted Allie as she told them about her nightmare. E.J. assured Allie that she was safe at the mansion, and he urged her to go back to sleep. "No! No sleep! I'll just see it all again," Allie fearfully protested, but she eventually fell asleep on the living room couch -- just as Sami returned home and somewhat loudly slammed the front door behind her.
E.J. silently signaled for Sami to be quiet, and she nervously wondered what had happened to Allie. Marlena assured Sami that everything was fine, explaining that Allie had simply had a nightmare. Marlena said that was Allie's way of processing the traumatic event she had witnessed. Marlena added that it was better for Allie to experience nightmares than to repress the ordeal entirely.
Marlena received a phone call from someone, so Sami encouraged her to answer it. Marlena guessed that Rafe was calling to talk to her about meeting with Gabi in the near future. As Marlena retrieved her cell phone, Sami cleared her throat and gave E.J. a meaningful look to let him know that something was wrong. After thanking Marlena for helping out with Allie, Sami urged her mother to go ahead and deal with Gabi right away.
After Marlena left, Sami told E.J. that they were in "big trouble." Before Sami could elaborate, Johnny descended the staircase and interrupted the conversation. Johnny announced that he was done with his homework and that he and Sydney wanted Allie to play with them. E.J. started to explain that Allie was sleeping, but she emerged from the living room and dispelled that belief. Allie asked if she could play with her siblings, and a surprised Sami happily granted the request. Allie rushed upstairs, and Johnny followed her after assuring E.J. and Sami that he and Sydney would take care of their sister.
E.J. followed Sami into the living room and closed the doors behind him. Sami told E.J. about her earlier encounter with the hit man, and she handed over the hit man's note. As E.J. read the note, Sami guessed that the hit man was planning to ask for more money. E.J. retrieved a gun from the hidden wall compartment near the fireplace as he muttered that if he allowed the hit man to blackmail him a single time, it would never stop. "You can't do this yourself, though. I mean, can't you just send someone else?" Sami asked, but E.J. insisted that he had to take care of the matter himself.
E.J. met with the hit man in a secluded section of the park. When E.J. revealed his gun, the hit man protested that E.J. had jumped to the wrong conclusion. Ignoring the hit man's objections, E.J. aimed the gun at the man's head and warned that the man had made a very big mistake.
When E.J. returned to the DiMera mansion later that night, he poured himself a drink and assured Sami that they were safe. E.J. returned the gun to its hiding place, and Sami was surprised when he also revealed that he had recovered all of the money that he had paid the hit man. E.J. clarified that the hit man had returned the money because he had known better than to cross the DiMera family. "He didn't do the job I paid him to. Someone else killed Nick," E.J. announced.
In Will and Sonny's apartment, Gabi guessed that Rafe had asked Marlena to check on her. Marlena innocently denied the suspicion and stated that she was just as concerned about Gabi as everyone else was. Marlena started to point out that Gabi had really cared about Nick, but Gabi interrupted and asked if they could refrain from talking about him.
"I just feel like I keep bouncing around different emotions with Nick. I -- I just -- I feel like I don't even know what's normal anymore. You know, one day last summer, we were heading in this one direction, and then, all of a sudden, it changes, and I have a modeling career because of Nick, and I'm moving to New York, and then it changes again, and Nick's the one leaving town, and...going --" Gabi said, her voice trailing off for a moment. Marlena interjected that Nick was the one who had ended up moving to New York in the end, and Gabi played along with the suspicion.
"So...then everything's suddenly changing again, and I -- I feel like I'm getting my life on track, and things change again, and -- and -- and -- and everything's happening so fast, and I feel like I can't keep track," Gabi concluded. Marlena nodded and suggested that Nick's death might be a bit of a relief to Gabi. "It is. Um -- no, what -- um, it's not -- no, um -- God. No, wha -- I -- what it is is I'm -- I don't -- I don't know. I don't know," Gabi stammered.
Marlena assured Gabi that it was okay to feel relieved, since that was one of the many complicated emotions that a person might experience after the death of someone who had been close to that person. "Yeah, I feel -- I feel relief because I'm not gonna be fighting with everyone now. The truth? You know, instead of dwelling on the ways that Nick made my life difficult...all I could think about last night was...how much he loved me. You know, he could be so sweet...and so gentle...and he knew what people thought about him, but I believe -- you know, I believe that there really was a part of him that wanted to change," Gabi tearfully admitted. Marlena agreed and advised Gabi to continue to remember those happy times, since that would be a good way to move on.
After recalling Daniel's earlier ultimatum, Nicole took a deep breath and dried her eyes before opening the door to her hotel room. Eric greeted Nicole with a loving embrace and said that he had missed her. Nicole sadly replied that Eric never had to miss her, since she would always be there for him if he wanted her.
"'If'?" Eric asked with a nervous laugh. Eric raised Nicole's left hand to kiss it, and he quickly noticed that she wasn't wearing her engagement ring. Concerned, Eric reminded Nicole that she had previously sworn that she would never take the ring off. Nicole turned away from Eric and fought back tears as she claimed that her hands were slightly swollen. Unconvinced, Eric followed Nicole into the hotel room and closed the door behind him.
Eric asked Nicole to face him, and when she reluctantly complied, he noticed that she was crying. Assuming that Nicole was still beating herself up about what had happened on Smith Island, Eric reminded her that shooting Daniel had been an accident. Eric confidently asserted that Nicole would never intentionally hurt someone she cared about. Eric started to advise Nicole to stop dwelling on what had happened, but she interrupted him.
"Why wouldn't I dwell on it? I was impulsive! I didn't think things through like I should have! That's what happens when you're -- when you're afraid, and -- and you're desperate to do the right thing, and you're confused about what that is. And then you're left with...nothing but consequences. God, Eric, I wanted to do the right thing! I should have. I couldn't. I didn't," Nicole tearfully stated.
Eric said that he hated seeing Nicole in such a state of distress. Nicole assured Eric that she deserved to feel that way, but he disagreed. Nicole started to say something else, but Eric stopped her. "I know you have this thing...because that's how you used to be in the past -- it's how people still treat you -- but that's not you. That's not the you I see. Do you know how incredible you are to me? Do you know how precious you are to me? How much you mean to me? I want you to know that. I want you to believe it. I want you to feel it," Eric said before tenderly kissing Nicole.
Eric and Nicole continued to kiss as they moved to the bed and started to undress each other. Later, while Nicole and Eric were lying in bed together after having sex, Nicole reminded Eric that he had previously planned to wait to have sex with her until after they were married. Eric reasoned that it was no longer important for him to wait, since he and Nicole weren't going to be able to get married in the church, anyway. Eric added that he loved Nicole and had needed her earlier just as much as he had sensed that she had needed him.
Aidan visited Hope at the precinct and asked her to join him at the pub. Anxious for a break, Hope agreed. Once at the pub, Aidan informed Hope about his plan to book the fundraiser at the Salem Inn. Aidan told Hope that he had arranged an invitation for Mr. Howell to visit with a dominos champion the weekend of the fundraiser. Concerned, Hope suggested that plan was not morally sound. Aidan stressed that the fundraiser was for the good of the school. The conversation was interrupted when Aidan's phone beeped due to an email.
"I know what you're up to, and it's not going to work, loser," the email from Mr. Howell read. Aidan called Mr. Howell a jerk, and Hope giggled. Hope suggested that they find another venue. When Aidan resisted, Hope called him stubborn. With a smile, Aidan insisted that he was persistent.
In the park, John said hello to Marlena. Marlena noted that their divorce was moving along and that she had nothing to talk about. As John nodded, Marlena asked John if he had spoken to Brady. John admitted that he had talked to Brady and that Brady had not been pleased to see John. "There's really nothing here for you anymore," Marlena said then walked away.
In Theresa's apartment, Brady woke up naked on the couch. When Theresa suggested that they have a mimosa before heading in to work, Brady countered that they needed to talk. Flustered, Theresa asked Brady if he regretted spending the night with her. Brady said no, but before he could explain further, John called his cell phone.
John apologized to Brady for suggesting that they work together to hunt down Kristen. John said that he had not wanted to upset Brady more. Annoyed, Brady said that John had succeeded in upsetting him. Brady hung up the phone and flung it across the room. When Theresa returned to the living room, Brady asked her if she wanted to get a mimosa.
In Daniel's apartment bedroom, Jennifer put ice on Daniel's lip after he tripped over her purse. Smiling, Jennifer said that she was the luckiest woman on earth. When Jennifer mentioned how upset Nicole had been, Daniel wanted to change the subject. Jennifer pushed Daniel to talk to her about his issue with Nicole. Daniel promised that Nicole was not making him to do anything he did not want to do.
"I really am sorry that in spite of everything, Nicole makes you unhappy," Jennifer said. "I didn't say that," Daniel said. "You didn't have to because I know Nicole, and I know that sometimes it can get more complicated than you ever imagined," Jennifer countered. As Jennifer showered in the bathroom, Daniel texted Nicole and asked her how Eric had taken the news.
In Nicole's hotel room, Nicole looked at a sleeping Eric and thought about Daniel's ultimatum. Eric woke up and smiled at Nicole. With a sigh, Nicole reached over to the nightstand and picked up her engagement ring. Placing the ring on her finger, Nicole swore that she would never take the ring off again.
After Eric left, Nicole looked at her cell phone and saw the text from Daniel. "I got to find a way out of this," Nicole muttered. "I can't tell Eric the truth. I've got to find a way out of this," Nicole said.
In the town square, J.J. learned that Paige had not shown up for her community service shift. Worried, J.J. texted her and asked to talk. When Paige did not respond, J.J. wondered aloud if Paige was ignoring him. J.J. texted her again.
J.J. stopped by Daniel's apartment to talk. When Daniel asked what was going on, J.J. explained what had happened with Paige. J.J. confided that he had texted Paige but that she had not responded. Daniel urged J.J. to talk to Paige in person. J.J. agreed and added that he was unsure how to explain to Paige why he had been upset. When Daniel asked for details, J.J. said that he had run into Theresa before his date with Paige.
J.J. said that Paige knew about Theresa but that Paige did not know the details of his history with Theresa. When Daniel asked what Theresa had said, J.J. said that she had asked him what kind of person he was. Daniel noted that if J.J. was a bad person like Theresa then he would not be concerned about what he had done in his past.
"We've all done things we're not proud of, you just got to own up to it, and she'll respect you. Paige will respect you," Daniel counseled. J.J. thanked Daniel for the advice and left. Daniel turned his attention to his phone and saw a text from Nicole asking to meet at Club TBD.
In the town square, Theresa and Brady drank mimosas at the cafe. When Brady noted that he needed to go home before work, Theresa reminded him that he was the boss and could take his time. Smiling, Brady kissed Theresa. Nicole walked by and was startled by the sight. Nicole took a picture of Brady and Theresa with her phone and then noticed that Daniel had called her phone.
At the cafe, Brady made plans with Theresa to meet later, and he left for work.
Paige walked to the Horton house to talk to J.J. but found Jennifer at home instead. When Jennifer asked Paige if she was okay, Paige explained that J.J. had been upset on their date and that he had not talked to her about it. Jennifer thanked Paige for her honesty. Jennifer added that J.J. had been through a difficult time and was having difficulty talking to people. Jennifer urged Paige to have patience. With a nod, Paige thanked Jennifer for the advice. Jennifer stressed that J.J.'s struggles were not about Paige.
As Paige left the house, she ran into J.J. on the porch. Paige admitted that she was there to see him. J.J. asked Paige to join him on a walk to the park, and she agreed. Once they reached the park, J.J. explained that he had run into the woman that had blackmailed Daniel at the club, and that was why he had been upset. When Paige asked why J.J. had not told her that before, J.J. admitted that Theresa had reminded him of the horrible things he had done when he had moved back to Salem.
"It made me think that I wasn't good enough for you," J.J. said. "Maybe you should let me be the one to decide that," Paige countered as she took J.J.'s hand. Paige told J.J. that she wanted him to talk to her. As Paige and J.J. kissed, Theresa saw them as she walked past where the lovers were sitting.
At the hospital, Eric visited Marlena in her office and asked her about Allie. Marlena informed Eric that Allie had visited a therapist and was doing better. With a raised eyebrow, Marlena asked Eric if he wanted to talk about anything else. Smiling, Eric admitted that he had asked Nicole to marry him. Marlena remained stone-faced.
Eric stressed that his near-death experience had convinced him that he did not want to waste any time with his life. Marlena countered that she was concerned about Eric and his happiness. Marlena asked Eric to make sure that his commitment to the priesthood was over before he rushed into marriage. Eric wondered aloud why he had not been able to find the evidence to exonerate him. Eric added that there was nothing he could do.
"I think in some way it was God's will that brought me back to Nicole," Eric said.
After texting Daniel, Nicole walked to Club TBD and waited for him. When Daniel arrived, he sat down, and Nicole showed him the picture she had taken of Brady and Theresa. As Nicole rambled on about Brady reconnecting with Theresa, Daniel talked about how he had not been able to reach Nicole all morning. Nicole wanted to talk about Brady, but Daniel stressed that he wanted to talk about Nicole first.
When Daniel asked what had happened with Eric, Nicole lowered her eyes. Daniel realized that Nicole had not told Eric the truth about the evidence she had destroyed. Nicole admitted that she had not told Eric, and Daniel urged her to be completely honest. Nicole admitted that she and Eric had made love. With a sigh, Daniel noted that Nicole had made the situation much worse.
Daniel stressed that Eric needed to learn the truth before he moved ahead with Nicole. Nicole begged Daniel not to punish her by forcing her to tell the truth. Daniel countered that he cared about Nicole and that for her own sake, she needed to tell Eric what had happened. As Eric entered the club, Daniel reiterated his ultimatum and promised that he would tell Eric the truth if Nicole failed to do so.
Brady returned to the Kiriakis mansion and eyeballed the liquor cart. With a sigh, Brady walked past the cart and headed upstairs. As Brady reached the staircase, John rang the doorbell. Brady was furious to find his father on the front porch. John started to apologize again then angrily noted that Brady had been drinking. Brady argued that his life was not John's concern. When John said that he was not judging Brady, Brady grew angrier.
"You are judging me just like I'm judging you as a not so great dad," Brady said. Brady asked John to prove his love by staying away from him. As John stared quietly at Brady, Brady slammed the door in John's face. Brady texted Theresa.
Jennifer visited Hope at the police station and delivered a cup of coffee to her. Hope shared that she was determined to find Nick's murderer, since she had failed Nick when he had been alive. As Jennifer nodded stiffly, Hope asked her what was wrong. Jennifer explained that Nicole had upset Daniel and that she was not sure what was wrong. With a sigh, Jennifer wondered aloud if Nicole had asked Daniel to do something that he would regret.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie told Jennifer, "Julie is accompanying Nick's body back east. She offered to stay with Jessica and Marie for a little while." Jennifer said that she'd hoped they could have a small memorial service for Nick in Salem, but Maggie was dubious that anyone would show up. Maggie confided that the Nick she wanted to memorialize was the sweet, shy, smart little boy she'd known. "I told him he was going to have a brilliant future, and he should've, too," Maggie added tearfully.
Victor returned home while Jennifer was fetching Maggie another glass of water. Maggie greeted her husband with a welcoming, grateful hug. When Jennifer returned, Victor thanked her for taking such good care of Maggie. Victor also expressed his relief that Jennifer and Daniel had worked things out and that everyone was all right after what had happened on Smith Island. "Leave it to Nicole to shoot the one true friend she's ever had," Victor said wryly. Jennifer asserted that she trusted Daniel's judgment, and he saw the good in Nicole.
After Jennifer had gone, Victor asked if he could do anything to help track down Nick's killer. Maggie admitted that the police didn't have any leads. Victor guessed that Hope would be quick to check if any of Nick's prison "compatriots" had been released recently. Maggie confessed that it wouldn't surprise her to find out that Nick's killer had been someone they all knew, because a lot of people had despised him. Maggie gave Victor the short version of how Nick had manipulated the situation with Arianna's custody agreement.
When Maggie got a call from Julie and stepped out of the room to take it, Victor raised his glass. "May we rest in peace, knowing that he's rotting in hell," Victor said.
At Club TBD, Daniel warned Nicole that he would tell Eric the truth if she didn't. Eric arrived and asked why the two of them looked so upset. Nicole covered that she'd seen Brady drinking mimosas with Theresa earlier, but Eric was skeptical that was the whole story. Daniel admitted that he and Nicole had actually been discussing something else when Eric had arrived. Nicole jumped in and explained that she still felt guilty about shooting Daniel. Daniel contended that he didn't want to keep rehashing the past; he was only concerned with the present.
Sensing the perfect time to broach the topic, Eric asked Daniel to be his best man. Before Daniel could answer, Nicole declared that she wanted Daniel to be her best man, since he was the best friend she'd ever had, and she knew he would do absolutely anything to support her. Eric happily conceded that he would have Jennifer as his "best person" -- or Daniel and Jennifer could be the "best couple." An obviously exasperated Daniel headed to the bar for a coffee refill. Eric wondered if Nicole knew why Daniel seemed so distant and tense.
Nicole pointed out that Daniel didn't like to be the center of attention and suggested that they close the subject of the shooting. She asked how Eric's mom had taken the news of their engagement. Eric could only say that Marlena hadn't said anything negative, but he was confident that she would eventually be happy for them. Eric seemed to dread telling his sister, so Nicole offered to go with him while he told Sami.
Daniel returned and announced that he had to go to work. He asked Nicole to give him a ride to his apartment so they could finish their conversation. Nicole was reluctant, but Eric acknowledged that it would probably be better to talk to Sami alone. Daniel pointedly suggested that they simply finish the conversation in front of Eric, so Nicole agreed to drive Daniel home.
At Daniel's apartment, Daniel asserted that Nicole was only making things worse by compounding her lies instead of just telling the truth. Nicole maintained that she had wanted to tell the truth, but she hadn't wanted to ruin Eric's happiness. Daniel declared firmly that no amount of pleading on Nicole's part would change his mind, because what she was doing was wrong. Nicole argued that Eric deserved to be happy. "He loves me. He chose me," Nicole added.
Daniel reminded Nicole that Eric didn't know that he'd ever had another choice. "I have no doubt that he loves you, Nicole, but his calling, his vocation, it is his life," Daniel declared, adding that Nicole had robbed Eric of the chance to reach a decision by keeping Chyka's evidence from him. Daniel reiterated that if Nicole didn't make things right, he would. "Stop threatening me with that!" Nicole shouted. She continued tearfully, "This is about my life, too. This is about my dreams coming true, so could you please just leave it alone?"
Nicole implored Daniel to think about Eric's happiness and hers. Daniel reminded Nicole that she had been so determined to help Eric that she had set aside her own self-interest -- but then something had happened, and Jennifer and Daniel had nearly been killed because Nicole had been so desperate to hide the truth. "I am your friend, Nicole, but I am also Eric's, and he has a right to know what you've done -- and he still may see his options," Daniel said, warning Nicole that Eric would learn the truth, one way or another.
Nicole promised that she would find Eric and tell him the truth. To make sure that she did, Daniel left a message, asking Eric to call him after he'd spoken to Nicole. Nicole asked Daniel to at least give her some time to pull herself together before she confessed the truth to Eric. Sobbing, Nicole left.
Daniel was wiping up some spilled coffee when Jennifer arrived a little later. "I just saw Nicole speed away about a minute ago, and you are upset again, so whatever is going on between the two of you, it has got you completely on edge. I want to know what it is. Tell me, please," Jennifer pleaded.
While Lucas waited at the Brady Pub, Kate called him and stressed the importance of not postponing their meeting for the new fall line again. Lucas promised to let his mom know as soon as he was free. Will arrived, and Lucas noted that they hadn't really talked since Nick's murder. Will wondered what there was to say about it. Lucas asked about the custody hearing. Will explained that Gabi had canceled the hearing, and E.J. was drawing up the agreement for both of them.
Lucas inquired about how Gabi was handling Nick's death, and Will said that she was still in shock. Lucas wanted to know how Will felt about it. Will admitted that it was a huge relief that Nick was gone, but after his own shooting, he understood how Nick could have gotten hooked on painkillers -- and then Nick had been forced to detox in prison, where Jensen had done unspeakable things to him, and it had obviously sent Nick over the edge.
"You saved me, Dad," Will asserted, adding, "If I had done my time, like Nick, if I had gone to prison for shooting E.J., who knows what kind of hell that would've been for me, what kind of life I would have? I owe you so, so much." Lucas firmly cautioned Will against ever forgetting that Nick had been evil and "a nasty S.O.B." Will wondered if Lucas had meant that Nick had gotten what he'd deserved. Lucas clarified that no one deserved that, although he hadn't been surprised. As Will rose to leave to meet E.J., Lucas assured his son that he was always there if Will wanted to talk. "Same goes for you, Dad," Will replied.
Sami entered the living room at the DiMera mansion and informed E.J. that Allie wanted to return to school the next day. E.J. thought it was a good idea for Allie to resume her normal routine. Sami asserted that even though E.J.'s hit man hadn't killed Nick, they still needed to figure out who had. E.J. didn't see why, when all that mattered was that Nick was dead and unable to wreak havoc on their lives any longer. "I'm afraid that someone we love is going to spend the rest of their life in prison for killing Nick," Sami explained.
Guessing that Sami had meant Will, E.J. assured her that her son wasn't capable of shooting anyone. "I can't forget what he did to you," Sami acknowledged. E.J. pointed out gently that Will was a father and an adult, a completely different person from when he'd shot E.J. Sami countered, "He was desperate then and he's desperate now." She clarified that she had confidence in Will, but Nick had given Will every reason in the world to want Nick dead. E.J. argued that Will wouldn't have been able to hide it from Sami if he'd killed Nick, since they'd seen each other right after the shooting.
Sami pointed out that the police would soon find out everything that Nick had been up to, and they would be all over Will. She fretted, "What if they find out that he did shoot you?" E.J. argued that Nick had taken that secret to the grave -- plus Nick had made a lot of enemies, including men from prison. E.J. urged Sami to let him keep tabs on the investigation while she stayed out of it. E.J. headed out for a meeting.
Eric stopped by the mansion on the pretense of checking on Allie. Sami said that Allie was seeing a therapist and doing better. Eric acknowledged that Allie wasn't the only reason he was there. Sami lightly cautioned him that she couldn't handle any more bad news. Assuring his twin that it was good news, Eric announced that he and Nicole were getting married. "Have you completely lost your mind?" Sami demanded, incredulous.
Sami launched into a tirade about how Nicole was a selfish, narcissistic liar and manipulator who had never done anything that wasn't self-serving. "Has that ever been said about you, Sami?" Eric demanded. He insisted that Nicole had changed, and he loved her. With angry tears in her eyes, Sami declared that she had neither the time nor the energy to save Eric from destroying his life. Eric countered that Sami could never do anything to get between him and Nicole.
Eric pointed out that Nicole had saved Jennifer from being killed by Liam Frazer, and both Nicole and Daniel could have been killed when they'd gone after Chyka -- while E.J. had done absolutely nothing to help find Kristen. "He could've given me my life back but he didn't even try!" Eric asserted. "You want your life back, you stay away from Nicole Walker!" Sami recommended hotly. Eric was disgusted that his sister couldn't even bother to pretend to be happy for him.
Eric added that he didn't need his family's support because he had friends who wanted him to be happy. "You know who you sound like? Brady -- and we all know how that turned out," Sami pronounced. Fed up, Eric stormed out.
Later, Sami was walking through the park when she got a phone call. "Oh, yes. I'll be by to pick that up myself," Sami told the person on the other end.
E.J. and Will were walking through the square at the same time on their way to Will's. E.J. offered to let Will review the custody agreement before they all got together. Will declined, noting that he didn't want Gabi to think he was going behind her back when the two of them were finally on the same page.
At Will and Sonny's apartment, Sonny urged Gabi to have some of his sandwich, since she hadn't eaten breakfast. He asked if she minded that he'd told E.J. it was all right to head over so they could discuss Arianna's custody agreement. "Would you just stop?" Gabi snapped. Sonny apologized for upsetting her, but Gabi explained that she wished everyone would stop tiptoeing around her, as they had since Nick had died.
Kate arrived just then and got right to the point: "Gabi, it's time we get some things straight." She wanted to know what Gabi intended to say to the police, especially about the last time Nick had "died." Kate pointed out that Gabi had a history of blurting things out, and Kate wanted to make sure that Gabi didn't say anything about the night of Nick's first "death" and his subsequent blackmail. Gabi asserted that she actually handled pressure very well.
"Now that Nick is out of my life, no one is going to push me around -- not you, not Sami, not anyone else," Gabi declared firmly before heading into the bedroom to check on Arianna. Kate wanted to apologize immediately, but Sonny maintained that it wasn't wise to do so while Gabi was in that kind of mood. He promised that he would talk to Gabi after she'd calmed down. "Thank you -- but you know I'm right. She needs to keep her mouth shut," Kate said as she left.
When Gabi returned, she was surprised that Kate had gone. Sonny tried to reassure Gabi that Kate cared about her, but Gabi was skeptical.
Will and E.J. arrived, and E.J. filled Gabi in that Will had declined his offer to look over the custody agreement. Pleased, Gabi said that she and Will should do everything together regarding their daughter from then on. E.J. sat on the couch with the papers in his lap and Gabi and Will on either side of him. E.J. explained that if either Will or Gabi died, custody would revert to the other parent. Gabi wanted something in writing to ensure that, if something happened to her, her brother would still be able to see his niece.
Will assured Gabi that wasn't a problem, and E.J. made a note to add it to the document. Gabi added that she wanted to make sure Sonny's rights were protected. "What if something were to happen to me and Will? I want to make it clear that Arianna Grace should continue living with Sonny, if that's what he wants," Gabi explained. Touched, Sonny reassured her that was what he would want. "I just want to make it clear that you're her other daddy," Gabi said. E.J. assured them that he would find a way to add it to the agreement. Sonny and Will hugged Gabi gratefully.
Lucas joined his mom at Club TBD and asked why she was so anxious about the fall line. Kate explained that she'd been afraid that their phones might be bugged, because the police likely believed that Lucas had killed Nick -- as did Kate. Lucas pointed out that plenty of other people had wanted Nick dead, but Kate noted that Lucas was at the top of that list. Kate explained that she knew Lucas had been upset about Nick's plan with the custody agreement to shut everyone out of Arianna's life.
Although Lucas professed his innocence, Kate revealed, "You just need to drop the act, okay? My gun is missing. You're the only one who could have taken it, and there's only one reason that you would do that."
Eric was waiting in Nicole's hotel room when she arrived. Nicole announced, "I've been giving something a lot of thought, and there's only one way to do this and it's just to say it out loud... We need to elope."
At Club TBD, Lucas confirmed Kate's suspicion that he had stolen her gun. Kate sighed heavily and admitted that she had been hoping that she had jumped to the wrong conclusion. "[But] in your heart, you knew that I was the only total screw-up who could take your gun and kill Nick Fallon?" Lucas bitterly guessed. Kate shushed Lucas and wondered what he had expected her to think after the confession he had just made.
Lucas shrugged and suggested that Kate could try giving him the benefit of the doubt for a change. Lucas claimed that he had actually stolen Kate's gun because he didn't like the idea of Allie -- who spent a lot of time with Kate -- being around the weapon. Kate protested that she always took good care of her gun and kept it locked up in a safe place, but Lucas countered that it had taken him two seconds to find the gun and that the lock had popped right off when he had tried to open the lockbox.
Kate skeptically wondered if Lucas was trying to tell her that it was just a coincidence that he had suddenly decided to steal her gun -- ostensibly to keep Allie from getting her hands on it -- on the same day that Nick had been shot. Lucas nodded and said that was exactly what he was trying to tell Kate. "Lucas, I raised you to be a better liar than that," Kate disappointedly stated.
Lucas insisted that he wasn't lying, and he added that he didn't really care whether Kate believed him or not. Lucas started to storm out of the club, but Kate stopped him and apologized for hurting his feelings. Kate assured Lucas that she believed him, and she urged him to rejoin her. Lucas hesitantly agreed, and Kate abruptly changed the subject, suggesting that they could talk about work-related matters instead.
Kate started to say that she needed Lucas to attend some meetings at Mad World's Zadar office right away, but he quickly interrupted and incredulously asked if she really wanted him to go to Croatia right away. Kate innocently pointed out that Croatia was a beautiful country with an amazing coastline. "Oh, yes, it's beautiful. It's gorgeous. And they also have a no-extradition treaty with the U.S., so I couldn't go if I wanted to. I don't have a passport!" Lucas quietly replied. Kate groaned when she realized that Lucas had already surrendered his passport to Hope earlier -- which meant that Hope considered him a suspect.
Lucas insisted that he hadn't killed Nick, but Kate guessed that Lucas had wanted to do so, and that was the real reason he had stolen her gun. "Yes. I was so unbelievably upset when I heard what Nick Fallon was doing to my son again with that court battle and the custody agreement," Lucas reluctantly admitted. Kate incredulously asked if Lucas had really believed that killing Nick would have solved all of Will's problems.
"Yes, yes, but I didn't, Mom -- I didn't, all right? That's the point. By the time I got your gun and I went to the park...somebody beat me to it," Lucas quietly explained. Kate groaned and wondered if that was the story Lucas had shared with Hope. Lucas assured Kate that he had not, and she breathed a sigh of relief and advised him to never tell the story again.
Kate wondered where her gun was. Lucas reluctantly admitted that he had thrown the gun in the river because he had panicked and had lost his mind for a second. "God. So now Hope suspects you, and frankly, I do, too. And you know something? I think that's what you want. Lucas -- Lucas, you're setting yourself up, aren't you?" Kate guessed. Lucas insisted that Kate was being ridiculous, and he abruptly excused himself.
Outside the Brady Pub, E.J. received a phone call from Abigail, who vaguely informed him that she could no longer continue to lie. E.J. didn't like the direction that the conversation seemed to be headed in, so he suggested that it would be best for Abigail to meet him somewhere later so that they could talk in person. Abigail reluctantly agreed, and after ending the call, E.J. turned and found Rafe standing behind him.
Rafe wondered what was going on. E.J. acted like he didn't understand the question, so Rafe clarified that he wanted to know why E.J. had asked to meet with him at the pub. E.J. nodded and started to open his briefcase as he apologized for the memory lapse. Rafe wondered if E.J. wanted to confess to killing Nick. E.J. laughed and replied that the Salem Police Department was going to have to work harder than that to solve Nick's murder.
E.J. retrieved a folder from his briefcase and handed it to Rafe, explaining that he wanted Rafe to look over Gabi and Will's custody agreement. E.J. and Rafe went into the pub to continue their conversation, and after reviewing the custody agreement, Rafe admitted that it certainly seemed fair to him. Rafe asked if he could have someone else look over the document -- just to be safe -- and E.J. happily granted the request.
Observing that Rafe looked a bit disconcerted, E.J. wondered what was wrong. Rafe admitted that he was having trouble believing that E.J. had drafted the custody agreement out of the goodness of his own heart. E.J. clarified that he had drafted the custody agreement because Gabi had asked him to do so, but Rafe remained convinced that E.J. had to have had some sort of ulterior motive.
E.J. conceded that he couldn't really blame Rafe for being wary, but he added that, despite their differences, he had assumed that they would be in complete agreement about the importance of protecting the rights of the people who loved Arianna. Rafe said that was the only thing he and E.J. would ever agree on.
At the Horton Town Square, Jordan spotted Abigail sitting alone on a bench, looking pensive. Concerned, Jordan greeted Abigail and wondered if everything was all right. Abigail explained that she was worried that she might have inadvertently gotten a friend in trouble, and she added that the friend was someone Jordan knew -- Ben Rogers. Jordan feigned ignorance at first, but when Abigail said that she was certain that Jordan and Ben knew each other, Jordan pretended to suddenly recall that he worked at Club TBD and had been with Abigail on the night of Nick's death.
Abigail nodded and proceeded to tell Jordan about the recent fight between Ben and Nick that the police had learned about when they had questioned Abigail earlier. Jordan insisted that it wasn't Abigail's fault that the police were questioning Ben at that time. Abigail wasn't convinced but thanked Jordan for saying that. Before Abigail could say anything else, Jordan abruptly excused herself and walked away.
In a conference room at the police station, Hope was interviewing Ben, who confirmed that he had recently fought with Nick. Ben clarified that the fight hadn't occurred on the same day that the shooting had occurred, although he guessed that the exact timetable probably didn't matter that much to Hope. Ben suspected, based on his habit of watching episodes of Law and Order to combat insomnia, that Hope likely believed that the fight meant that he had possessed a motive for killing Nick, regardless of when it had occurred.
Somewhat amused, Hope asked Ben to predict what her next question was going to be. Ben guessed that Hope would ask if he had killed Nick, but she instead wanted to know what the two men had fought about. "Here's the thing -- I didn't know the guy, but I saw him treating Abigail Deveraux badly, and I didn't like it," Ben replied. Hope wondered if Abigail was a friend of Ben's. "She wasn't a friend. I didn't know her very well at all. But I'm not gonna stand by and watch any man treat a woman like that," Ben clarified.
Hope wondered if Nick had been threatening Abigail. "To me, it looked that way," Ben replied. Meanwhile, the conference room phone rang, and after a brief conversation, Hope ended the call and told Ben that he was free to go. Hope pointedly assumed that Ben had no plans to leave Salem in the near future, and he confirmed her suspicion, adding that he liked the town.
After Ben left, Hope checked something on her tablet computer. "Oh, damn it," Hope muttered with a heavy sigh. Later, Lucas arrived and said that he had seen more of Hope that week than he had in years beforehand. Hope told Lucas that she wanted to go over a few things with him. Lucas took a seat and wondered if Hope wanted to seize his driver's license in addition to the passport she had already taken.
Hope replied that she wanted Lucas to tell her again about what had happened on the night of Nick's death. "Is this the part where you try to catch me making a mistake with my answers? Where you trip me up on tape?" Lucas wondered. Hope denied the suspicion and clarified that she didn't have any questions -- she just wanted Lucas to tell her again, in his own words, what had happened on the night of Nick's death.
Lucas repeated what he had told Hope during their previous interview, and when he was finished, he concluded that he had told her everything. "No. You've told me a lot...but you're lying -- just like you lied about the text," Hope replied. Lucas reminded Hope that he had already explained why he had erased the text messages. "To cover up the fact that you met with Nick," Hope summarized. Lucas corrected Hope, stressing that he hadn't met with Nick. "Another lie," Hope countered.
As Ben was strolling through a secluded section of the town square, he received a phone call from Jordan, who said that she had heard that the police had questioned him earlier. Ben told Jordan that he was fine and that his interview with Hope hadn't been a big deal at all. Ben also assured Jordan that their connection to each other hadn't been revealed during the interview. "We're all good, okay? He won't find out. Our secret's safe. He won't find us," Ben promised Jordan -- just as Abigail arrived and called out his name.
Ben quickly ended the phone call and greeted Abigail, who wondered how the police interview had gone. "No sweat, no cuffs, no bright light," Ben joked. Abigail wasn't amused, but Ben assured her that he was being serious and that there was nothing for her to worry about. Relieved, Abigail apologized for getting Ben involved in the first place, but he insisted that it wasn't necessary for her to do so. Ben reasoned that Abigail had simply told the police the truth -- and that he would have expected nothing less from her.
Abigail remained silent as she thought about her earlier confrontation with E.J., during which she had accused him of being responsible for Nick's death. Concerned, Ben asked Abigail if something else was bothering her. Abigail shook her head and said that she had just been thinking about what Ben had said about telling the police the truth. Abigail started to leave, but Ben stopped her and wondered if there was some sort of problem. "Once I take care of something, it won't be a problem anymore," Abigail cryptically replied before walking away.
Jordan met with Rafe at Club TBD, where she told him about Ben's earlier police interview. Jordan couldn't believe that Rafe hadn't warned her about the matter, but he pointed out that he couldn't mix business with his personal life any more than she could. Jordan started to protest but quickly realized that Rafe was right and that she had no good reason to be upset with him for being unable to share information about the case with her.
"Well, I'm glad you understand. I hope you also understand that I'm not gonna lie to Hope. If she asks, I'm gonna tell her that Ben is your brother," Rafe told Jordan. Rafe wondered if it would really be that bad if everyone learned that Ben was Jordan's brother. Jordan remained silent, so Rafe added that he respected her right to privacy and that he had been trying really hard to stay out of the matter.
Jordan said that she loved Rafe for doing that and that she appreciated it more than he knew. Jordan optimistically suggested that the "Ben thing" might sort itself out. Rafe nodded and promised that he would always protect Jordan. Jordan said that she would understand if Rafe had to tell Hope the truth about Ben, but she asked Rafe to at least give her a bit of warning before doing so, if it ever got to that point. Rafe promised that he would, as long as Jordan promised that she wouldn't try to leave Salem again if she ever received that warning. Jordan kissed Rafe and assured him that she could never leave him.
At the Horton Town Square, E.J. sent a text message to Abigail, asking her to meet him at the DiMera mansion right away. Meanwhile, Kate approached E.J. and said he was just the person she had wanted to see. E.J. said that he didn't have time to talk to Kate, but she ignored his dismissal and said that she needed to know how the custody agreement was working out with Nick no longer in the driver's seat.
"Well, Gabi and William seem very happy with it. I would imagine if you had anything other than gloomy DNA, you would be rather happy with it, too," E.J. replied. Kate said that there was at least one person who found her personality quite charming, prompting E.J. to wonder who she was talking about.
"Just tell your father the necklace is lovely, but it still gets him nowhere with me," Kate said as she raised a hand to a necklace she was wearing that had at least nine diamonds of various sizes attached to it. "And yet...well, you keep going on about how you can't stand him, you detest him, you don't want to be around him, and yet you keep his jewelry awfully close to your heart," E.J. observed before walking away.
Later, at the DiMera mansion, E.J. closed the living room doors behind Abigail and thanked her for agreeing to meet with him. Abigail admitted that she believed that the meeting was pointless, since she had already made her decision. Abigail started to say something else, but E.J. stopped her as he grabbed her waist and pulled her close to him. E.J. leaned in close to Abigail's lips, but instead of kissing her, he kept a tight grip on her and started frisking her. As Abigail demanded to know what was going on, E.J. finished his inspection and moved on to her purse, dumping its contents on the bar and rummaging through the items.
E.J. found Abigail's cell phone and removed the battery from it as she continued to protest. "I'm just making sure that you're not wearing a wire or carrying some sort of recording device -- and you're not," E.J. explained as he tossed the purse back to Abigail, who tried to hit him with it as he walked past her. Abigail snapped that E.J. was sick, and he countered that he was simply being careful. Abigail said that she knew exactly what E.J. had done. "Oh, I'm sure you do. And you're quite right -- I paid a man to kill your cousin," E.J. replied.
In Daniel's apartment, Jennifer pressed Daniel for details about his "thing" with Nicole, but he explained that he had promised Nicole that he wouldn't tell anyone about the matter until Nicole had figured out a way to deal with it. Daniel hoped that Nicole had already done so and that the ordeal was over for good. Before Daniel or Jennifer could say anything else, someone knocked on the apartment door.
Daniel opened the door and found Maxine and Abe standing in the hallway. Maxine was carrying her "world-famous" potato salad, and Abe was carrying a store-bought apple pie -- each of which had been intended to complement the cold salmon that Daniel and Jennifer had planned to prepare for the group's gathering -- a gathering that Jennifer and Daniel had completely forgotten that they had scheduled.
Jennifer apologized for the embarrassing mistake, vaguely explaining that she and Daniel had been preoccupied with something else that was going on at that time. Abe and Maxine understood and suggested that they could reschedule the gathering for some other time, but Jennifer declined the offer, insisting that the gathering could still be salvaged and that the issue that she and Daniel had been dealing with could wait until later.
Jennifer excused herself so that she could go to the market to pick up the salmon, and Abe offered to accompany her. After Abe and Jennifer left, Maxine admitted to Daniel that she felt guilty because she had been using him and Jennifer as a crutch. "When Jennifer suggested this group lunch, I was grateful. Abe and I have been talking about becoming more than friends, and -- well, the truth is, it feels a bit off. Awkward," Maxine explained.
Maxine said that she had reasoned that a double date with Jennifer and Daniel would be good because there was always safety in numbers. "But...Abe and I talked in between and all, and...we decided we like being friends -- good friends -- so we're not gonna complicate things," Maxine added. Daniel skeptically assumed that Maxine and Abe would eventually reconsider that decision, but she clarified that it wasn't just a temporary thing.
Daniel wondered if Maxine was okay with that decision, and she replied that she was. Daniel conceded that he knew better than to doubt Maxine, and she snickered and said that he was a smart boy. Daniel added that he simply wanted Maxine to be happy, and she hugged him as she gushed that he was the best friend anyone could ever have.
Maxine could tell that something was wrong with Daniel, so she urged him to confide in her. Daniel said that he couldn't really talk to anyone about what was bothering him, but Maxine reminded him that keeping things from her was a lost cause. Daniel vaguely explained that he felt like he had failed a friend -- or at least someone he wanted to be friends with, even if that person might never be able to think of him as a friend again.
Daniel vaguely added that he was basically forcing his friend to make a hard -- but, in his opinion, ultimately right -- decision about something that was very important. Maxine guessed that Daniel's friend had done something that had been "not so great," and he confirmed the suspicion. Daniel added that his friend thought that he was playing God, and he admitted that he had been accused of doing so in the past, as well.
"My wife, Rebecca -- she had asked me, after all the treatments had failed, not to tell her family -- from whom she was estranged -- that she, uh -- that she wasn't gonna make it. She -- she begged me to promise that, but I -- I just -- I could not make that promise," Daniel elaborated. Daniel said that he had given Rebecca an ultimatum, so she had ultimately told her family the truth because she had known that he would have if she hadn't.
"She was glad...and relieved, so she forgave me -- in fact, um, she was very grateful to me...bless her, uh, generous heart. You know, but I don't think this friend will ever forgive me," Daniel concluded.
Meanwhile, in the town square, Jennifer shared her concerns about Daniel with Abe, although she kept things vague. Abe advised that it would probably be best for Jennifer to just be patient and wait for Daniel to confide in her on his own timetable, but she wasn't sure if she could do that.
When Abe and Jennifer returned to Daniel's apartment, the group enjoyed their lunch, but Abe abruptly excused himself before they could eat the dessert, apologetically explaining that he needed to head back to the police station. Maxine decided to leave with Abe, but before doing so, she quietly advised Daniel to tell Jennifer about his friend, predicting that doing so would probably make him and Jennifer feel better.
After Abe and Maxine left, Jennifer wondered if Daniel was ready to resume their earlier conversation. Daniel said that he was waiting on a phone call and that he would feel better about confiding in Jennifer after he received that call. Jennifer nodded and decided to return to work for a while, but before leaving, she stressed that she was ready to listen as soon as Daniel was ready to talk. After Jennifer left, Daniel wondered why he hadn't heard from Eric or Nicole yet.
In Nicole's hotel room, Eric was surprised to learn that Nicole didn't just want to elope -- she wanted to elope immediately. Eric pointed out that there was no need to rush things, but Nicole disagreed, arguing that someone wanted to keep them apart. Confused, Eric wondered who wanted to keep him and Nicole apart, prompting her to clarify that it wasn't just one person -- it was multiple people who were all eager to watch Eric and Nicole's relationship implode. Nicole said that she didn't want to wait around and give those people a chance to ruin her relationship with Eric.
Eric reasoned that his relationship with Nicole could only be ruined if they allowed it to be, but she predicted that Marlena would never approve of their relationship and that Sami would use every dirty trick in the book to wear him down and make him change his mind about marrying Nicole. "I will not let that happen! I will not let anyone keep us apart!" Nicole vowed. Nicole added that Eric was -- and had always been -- the love of her life and that she didn't want to lose him again. Eric assured Nicole that he felt the same way about her.
Nicole begged Eric to grant her request for an elopement, admitting that she had a bad feeling that if they didn't get married right away, they never would. Eric assured Nicole that he knew how she felt, since it wasn't easy for him to deal with the fact that his mother and sister weren't happy for them, either. Eric offhandedly mused that eloping might actually be the best option for him and Nicole.
Nicole immediately hopped into the seated Eric's lap, wrapped her arms around him, and excitedly stated that she was glad that he agreed with her. Eric started to say something, but Nicole interrupted and added that she had checked the availability of a few different flights earlier and had determined that they could make it to Las Vegas before dinnertime that evening. Eric laughed and conceded that it might actually be kind of fun to get married in Las Vegas. Nicole agreed and pointed out that it would also be far away from all of the naysayers who didn't want her and Eric to be together.
Nicole showered Eric with kisses and said that she loved him and that he was making her extremely happy at that moment. Nicole added that Eric wouldn't have to do anything -- except pack an overnight bag, of course -- because she was the best planner in the world. "Nicole, we're not gonna get married tonight. We can't get married tonight," Eric clarified with a laugh.
Nicole assured Eric that she had some available vacation days and that the hospital would probably be okay with him taking a few days off, too. Eric clarified that he wasn't concerned about that -- he was just fairly certain that "they" would probably need a bit of advanced notice. Confused, Nicole wondered who Eric was talking about. "Our friends, Jennifer and Daniel. I mean, they should come with us. It'd be fun, don't you think?" Eric asked.
Nicole said that would be a big imposition, since Daniel and Jennifer had jobs and responsibilities of their own, and she added that she didn't want Jennifer and Daniel to feel pressured to join Nicole and Eric in Las Vegas. Eric reasoned that if Daniel and Jennifer didn't want to go to Las Vegas, they could simply decline the invitation. Eric reminded Nicole that Jennifer and Daniel were not only their friends but also their strongest advocates. Eric predicted that Daniel and Jennifer would probably be hurt if they weren't invited to attend the elopement.
Nicole argued that if Jennifer and Daniel were invited, the news about the elopement might spread through Salem, defeating the whole purpose of the elopement. Eric doubted that Daniel and Jennifer would say anything to anyone if they were asked not to, but Nicole reasoned that they might unintentionally say something to Maggie or "that loudmouth" Julie. Nicole begged Eric to agree to keep the elopement between the two of them.
Eric guessed that there was something that Nicole wasn't telling him, but she denied the suspicion. Eric wasn't convinced, so Nicole reluctantly admitted that he was right -- she wasn't being honest with him, and it was time to tell him the truth. Nicole vaguely explained that she had issues, and she promised to elaborate on the way to Las Vegas. "Not that it will be a surprise -- you saw how upset I was with him. You even commented on how strangely he's been acting. I'm pretty sure you have an idea of what this is about -- who this is about," Nicole added.
Eric guessed that Nicole was referring to Daniel, and she confirmed the suspicion. Eric recalled that Daniel had left him a voicemail message earlier, and he played the message for Nicole, who acted like she had never heard it before. Eric wondered what Daniel was expecting Nicole to reveal. Nicole said that she had never wanted Eric to hear what she was about to say, but he urged her to go ahead and tell him anyway, so she claimed that Daniel didn't want her to marry Eric.
"God, I didn't want to tell you this...but the truth is...Daniel's in love with me," Nicole added.
At Will and Sonny's, a first birthday party was underway for Arianna. The apartment was festooned with pink and white balloons and a "happy birthday" banner, and even Will wore a pink party hat. The little one sat in Gabi's lap and stared, wide-eyed, at the single candle on her pink cake. Sami, Marlena, Kate, and Will cheered, and Sonny snapped pictures, as Gabi blew out the candle for Arianna.
As Kate and Sami walked into the living area to start retrieving presents, Sami asked where Lucas was. Kate admitted that she had sent a text message to Lucas, but he hadn't replied yet. "Must be something really important to keep him from his granddaughter's birthday," Sami remarked, obviously displeased.
Marlena asked how Gabi was. Gabi replied that it had really helped to talk to Marlena, although Gabi admitted that she didn't understand why Nick had made it so difficult for everyone to get along. Marlena urged her to remember that Arianna was safe and loved. Her mood brightening, Gabi revealed that she had a photo shoot that night.
While Gabi helped Arianna open gifts on the couch, Marlena tried to reassure Sami that Allie would be fine because she was strong, just as Sami had been. Sami pointed out that she had never seen anything like what Allie had witnessed. "We can't keep our children from seeing terrible things, but I'm so glad she has you to see her through it," Marlena declared. Sami said that she was glad that she and her daughter had Marlena.
After Marlena left, Kate thanked Gabi for being so generous with the custody agreement. Gabi countered that she was only being fair, because all she'd ever wanted was for Arianna to be surrounded by the people who loved her. Sonny said that his parents were sorry to miss the party. Will assured him they had a good excuse, since they were visiting Sonny's brothers, but he wondered where his dad was. When Sonny asked about E.J., Sami just said, "He has a lot on his plate."
Gabi complimented Kate's glittering necklace with multiple large diamonds and asked about its origin. "It was a gift from an admirer," Kate said. Overhearing, Sami asked to speak to Kate outside, in private. The two women headed for the exterior hallway.
Meanwhile, the others were pleased that Kate and Sami had taken their disagreement outside -- but Sami and Kate were still arguing when they went back inside. Sami apologized and said she had to go. She gave Arianna a big hug and kiss, wished the little one a happy birthday again, then gathered her things. Sami advised Will that she'd forgotten part of Arianna's present and asked him to drop by and pick it up later.
Will asked what had happened to the peace between Sami and Kate. Chuckling, Sami explained that there had been a truce because of the situation with Nick, but it had obviously ended with his death. "Well, maybe by Ari's sixteenth birthday, you two will have, um, what's the word? Grown up?" Will proposed. Letting that remark go, Sami left.
Gabi gushed over Kate's gift for Arianna, a strand of pearls. "Grandma, isn't the point of an add-a-pearl necklace to start with one pearl and then add a pearl?" Will asked. Chortling, Kate admitted that it was more of an "add-a-strand" necklace. Will was curious about who had given Kate her diamond necklace. Kate freely admitted that both the necklace and her ring had been from Stefano -- but she assured everyone that, although it was no one else's business, she wasn't back with Stefano. Will remarked sarcastically that Stefano never asked for anything in return, and Sonny chimed in, "We're talking about Stefano DiMera here. What could go wrong?"
At the DiMera mansion, once E.J. was satisfied that Abigail wasn't wearing a wire or otherwise recording their conversation, he admitted that he'd hired someone to kill Nick. Horrified, Abigail protested that Nick had been her cousin -- and a human being. E.J. sneered, "Barely! He was going to expose us, and he was looking forward to ruining your life!" Abigail slapped E.J. and spat, "Don't you dare say that this was about me or my life! This was about you! He threatened you, and so you murdered him. This was about you protecting your own DiMera ass!"
Abigail admitted that she hadn't really believed that E.J. had done what she'd accused him of. She blamed herself for telling E.J. that Nick had known about the two of them. E.J. assured Abigail, "You did not tell me anything I did not already know. When I came into your mother's office, that whole process was already in motion." After momentarily freaking out about the whole situation, Abigail announced that she had to tell Hope and realized that she was a liability, as well. While a trembling Abigail fished in her purse for her phone, E.J. backed her against the sideboard threateningly.
E.J. quietly growled that Abigail could not leave until she had listened to what he had to say. He manhandled her across the room to the desk and removed the paper bag full of cash from the desk drawer and showed it to her. E.J. explained that it was the money he had paid the man to kill Nick -- but the man had returned it because he hadn't done the job. Abigail accused him of covering up one lie with another. E.J. asserted that the hit man had returned the money because he'd understood the consequences of crossing a DiMera. E.J. reminded Abigail that she had always been able to tell when he was lying.
"Abigail, I am not responsible for killing Nick. Someone else did that. Not me," E.J. reassured her. Disgusted, Abigail pointed out that E.J. had still hired someone to kill Nick, but someone had beaten E.J. to it. E.J. contended that Nick had obviously been doing the same thing to other people besides Abigail and E.J. Abigail argued that regardless, it didn't give anyone the right to kill Nick. E.J. pointed out that Nick had pushed people beyond the point where they had wanted to kill him. Abigail wondered who, then, had hated Nick enough to want him dead. "Who didn't, Abigail?" E.J. queried.
As E.J. replaced the cash, he cautioned Abigail that confessing their affair would accomplish nothing except to cause pain for a lot of people. Abigail acknowledged that he was right. E.J. pointed out that the two of them would still have to live with what they had done, whether or not the truth got out. Abigail announced that she wanted to leave, so E.J. unlocked the door to the foyer and opened it -- just as Sami arrived.
Sami asked why Abigail was there. Sami was touched when she concluded that Abigail had wanted to check on Allie. Abigail admitted that Nick's death had been very difficult for her, so she could only imagine how it had been for Allie. While Sami walked Abigail out, E.J. got a phone call. "When did that happen? You keep me posted, okay?" E.J. said before hanging up.
On the front step, Sami thanked Abigail for the very patient tutoring about art history. Sami said reluctantly that she was afraid she'd wasted Abigail's time, because, after everything that had happened, Sami was no longer sure she and E.J. would honeymoon in Italy. Sami added that they also weren't sure when the wedding would happen -- but she definitely wanted Abigail to attend. "You could bring that bartender, you know, that cute guy from the club," Sami suggested.
Abigail was a little puzzled as to why Sami would mention Ben. Sami said that she'd noticed how the guy looked at Abigail like he was crazy about her. "Thank you for stopping by to check on Allie. You're welcome anytime. I mean, you're like family," Sami said, embracing an uncomfortable Abigail.
When Sami went back inside, E.J. asked about the birthday party. He guessed from her pointedly forceful tone when she responded "fine" that Kate had been there. "Guess what -- she's back! And he is showering her with jewels these days," Sami said with a look at Stefano's portrait, then added, "As it turns out, you can buy Kate's love." E.J. said that Kate had assured him that she wasn't interested in Stefano's affections.
Sami was skeptical that the diamonds had been innocent tokens. "At some point, Stefano is going to want to take it out in trade," Sami added, and E.J. winced at the idea. He informed Sami that he'd gotten a call from his contact at the police station, who had advised him that Hope had been questioning Lucas for the previous two hours. Pointing out that Hope had already questioned Lucas, Sami wondered, "E.J., do you think that Lucas shot Nick?"
As Hope grilled Lucas at the police station, she accused him of lying. Lucas insisted that he hadn't seen Nick the night of the murder until Nick had stumbled, bleeding, into the square. Hope angrily accused Lucas of going to the park and shooting Nick. Lucas denied it. After rattling off an explanation about dew point, Hope said that the condensation had formed on the ground, making it softer, ten minutes before Nick had been shot. She continued that forensics had matched the dirt from the park to the dirt on Lucas' shoes -- and the only shoe impressions that hadn't been accounted for matched Lucas' perfectly.
"Fine, I'll tell you the truth," Lucas said reluctantly. Hope asked if he wanted his lawyer, but Lucas declined. Lucas explained that he had gone to the park, but Nick had already been shot. Lucas had assumed Nick was dead because he hadn't been moving, so Lucas had left because he'd been afraid he would have looked guilty -- but he would have called for help if he'd known Nick had still been alive. Hope was skeptical, but Lucas admitted that he should have called for help. Hope said that Nick would have died, anyway, even if a doctor had been right there when Nick had been shot.
Lucas thanked Hope for telling him that, because it had been eating him up inside since that night. "Is that the only reason you feel guilty?" Hope demanded. Lucas quietly assured his cousin that he hadn't done it. Hope said that she wanted to believe Lucas, but according to the timeline, he should have arrived at the park before Nick had been shot. Lucas admitted that he had gone to get a gun first. Hope demanded to know where he'd gotten the gun. "My mother's house, but she didn't know about it," Lucas replied.
Hope concluded that Lucas had gone to the park with the intention of killing Nick. Stammering out conflicting responses at first, Lucas clarified, "Look, he was threatening my son. He was going to take my son's daughter away from him, and as soon as I heard there was a court date, yeah, I lost it." Hope wanted to know where the gun was. Lucas said that he had thrown the gun in the river before he'd gone to the square. A uniformed officer entered with a file for Hope. After Hope scanned the contents, she looked up at Lucas with dismay.
Daniel paced in his apartment, fretting about why Eric hadn't called him yet and wondering whether Nicole had told Eric the truth. "She said she would do it this time. Nicole never lies," Daniel muttered sarcastically.
In Nicole's hotel room, Nicole claimed that Daniel was in love with her. Eric countered that it didn't make any sense because Daniel loved Jennifer. Daniel called Eric just then. "I'm glad I reached you. Are you with Nicole?" Daniel asked. Eric said that he and Nicole were discussing something important, so he would have to call Daniel back.
After Eric hung up, Daniel mused hopefully, "He sounds like hell. Nicole must've told him the truth. I guess I should've trusted her." Chloe called Daniel right after that with a request, so Daniel headed out to overnight a toy that he'd forgotten to pack for Parker.
Eric wanted more details. "That's why you and Daniel were upset when Jennifer and I came in? Because he told you that he loved you?" Eric asked, and Nicole "confirmed" it. "What about Jennifer?" Eric wondered. Nicole maintained that Daniel did love Jennifer, but he'd realized that he loved Nicole, as well. She continued that Daniel had gotten upset when she'd told him about her engagement, and he'd blurted out that he loved her. Eric repeated that it didn't make any sense.
Nicole explained that she and Daniel had spent a lot of time together while trying to clear Eric's name, and it had stirred up a lot of old feelings. Eric asked if Nicole had been aware of Daniel's feelings. Nicole confessed that Daniel had kissed her before she and Eric had gotten back together. Eric wanted to know if Nicole had feelings for Daniel, too, but she reassured Eric that he was the only man she loved.
Eric asked if Daniel had told Jennifer about his feelings for Nicole. "No, and we can't say anything to her, either -- especially if it's just a passing infatuation," Nicole cautioned Eric. She thought they should keep their distance from Jennifer and Daniel until Daniel realized that he truly loved Jennifer, not Nicole. Nicole continued that they should go to Las Vegas and elope, as she'd proposed. Eric pointed out that they would still have to deal with everything afterwards. "Not if we don't come back," Nicole said.
Nicole clarified that she hadn't necessarily meant that they should leave forever -- although making a fresh start somewhere new didn't seem like a bad idea. "Listen, if I want a fresh start, I want it based on my decision, not Daniel's feelings," Eric asserted. Nicole conceded that they should at least give Daniel time to realize that he belonged with Jennifer, especially after everything he'd done for Nicole and Eric. Eric wasn't sure eloping was such a good idea.
Nicole claimed that Daniel had asked her to hold off on getting married until he could sort out his feelings, and she was worried that he would try to keep her from marrying Eric. Eric decided that it was time to have a talk with Daniel, but Nicole suggested that he send Daniel a text message instead. "Tell him that we already talked, and you just need a day or two to process everything before you talk to him again," Nicole proposed. Eric agreed.
After Eric had sent the message, he announced that he was going for a walk because he needed some air. Nicole acknowledged that Eric leaving his family on short notice would be difficult, but she implored him not to say anything to anyone, especially not Daniel or Jennifer. "I still think he needs to come clean with her. I mean, keeping secrets from people you love, aside from being wrong, it always seems to blow up in your face," Eric said before heading out.
Nicole muttered, "Why would it blow up in my face? That never happens to me." Looking at herself in the mirror, she took a deep breath and declared, "No, I am not giving up. If I could just keep those two away from each other long enough to get Eric to elope, this just might work. All I have to do is convince Daniel that I told Eric the truth." Miserable tears filled her eyes as she apologized for what she was going to do to Daniel to keep from losing Eric. She grabbed her purse and headed out.
As Daniel walked through Horton Square with the package for his son, his attention was on his phone -- and he ran right into Marlena. Daniel apologized profusely. After assuring him that she was all right, Marlena chided Daniel about his texting while walking, "You shouldn't do that anyway. You're a grown-up." Daniel explained about Parker's toy, then he concluded that perhaps it had been his way of trying to hang on to his son. "It's hard to let go of our children, isn't it? Especially when we feel we've let them down," Marlena noted.
When Daniel asked if Marlena were all right, she asked if he had a minute to talk about Eric. As they got a table, Marlena explained that her relationship with Eric had hit a rough patch because of how she felt about Nicole. Daniel cautioned Marlena that Nicole and Eric were both his friends. After promising not to say anything "unpleasant" about Nicole, Marlena admitted that she had been unfair to Nicole. Marlena explained that it had been hard to hear the news of Eric's engagement because she still felt that his place was with the church and that it was unfair that he hadn't been vindicated for what Kristen had done to him.
Marlena continued that she had focused her anger at the situation and at herself on Nicole. Marlena concluded that she had to respect Eric's choice to leave the church and marry Nicole. Daniel was curious as to why Marlena was confiding in him about it. Marlena explained that he had been right to dress her down for grilling Nicole about Chyka when she shouldn't have questioned Nicole's loyalty to Eric.
"Marlena, there is no reason for you to apologize," Daniel said a little too sternly. He quickly added that Marlena didn't need to apologize for trying to protect her son. Daniel got the text message from Eric and excused himself. Marlena thanked Daniel for listening. Daniel reassured her that everything would be all right. "In Salem? You've got to be kidding," Marlena quipped. After Marlena had gone, Daniel determined that Nicole had either told Eric the truth or used his phone to send the text to Daniel.
Nicole went to the hospital to look for Daniel, but a nurse informed her that Daniel's shift hadn't started yet. Nicole tried to call Daniel, but he sent her call to voicemail, so she left a message, asking him to call her as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Daniel spotted Eric walking through the square and hurried over to him. "I got your text, and I know you said you need to sort things out, but I think we should talk," Daniel said. Eric concurred.