At the Kiriakis mansion, Theresa entered the living room and found Xander standing at the bar, pouring himself a glass of lemonade. Theresa reminded Xander that he wasn't supposed to set foot inside the mansion, prompting him to wonder if she planned to rat him out to Victor. "Not if you do something for me," Theresa replied.
Meanwhile, Brady opened the front door and found Nicole standing outside. "Where's your degenerate cousin?" Nicole asked. "Little more specific, please," Brady replied. Nicole clarified that she was talking about Xander, adding that she had a special delivery for the thug -- one she was sure he would hate. "Make some popcorn; this should be a good show," Nicole added as she stepped into the foyer.
Xander suggestively wondered if Theresa had some hedges that needed to be trimmed or some weeds that needed to be pulled. "That sounds...messy, and a little painful," Theresa mused, but Xander sarcastically insisted he was living the dream. Comparing Xander's situation to her own, Theresa complained that they were both on leashes and could say or do the wrong thing at any moment and get kicked out of the mansion as a result. Theresa wished she could find some sort of temporary escape from her troubles, and Xander said he knew the feeling. "Maybe that's what you could do for me. We could go out later and get a drink," Theresa suggested.
Before Xander could respond, Brady and Nicole entered the living room. Brady started to go off on Theresa for letting Xander into the mansion, but Xander interrupted and told Brady to leave her alone, adding that he had let himself in because he had needed something cold to drink after working in ninety-degree weather. Xander tried to excuse himself so he could get back to work, but Nicole stopped him and served him with a subpoena, explaining that she had filed a civil suit against him so she could make sure he paid -- one way or another -- for what he had done to her.
Xander was shocked to learn that the trial would be taking place later that day. Xander protested that he was entitled to some time to prepare, prompting Nicole to innocently wonder why he hadn't received an official notice from a process server earlier that week. "Might have to check the gate. The guards are directed to duck subpoenas," Brady explained. Xander assumed Brady had been in on Nicole's plan from the beginning, but Brady clarified that he was simply enjoying watching it unfold. When Xander accused Nicole of setting him up to lose the case, she pointed out that it hadn't been her responsibility to notify him that he was due to appear in court.
"This part was just fun for me -- and a little something for your scrapbook," Nicole added with a smile. Xander protested that he couldn't be forced into a trial that afternoon because he still had some rights. "So do I! You tell it to the judge and let him decide who was more violated! You should be in jail! But this is some consolation. And you want to know the best part? The burden of proof is much lower for civil damages -- preponderance of the evidence, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I will win this, Xander, and I will not take dirty tee shirts as payment," Nicole countered.
Xander reminded Nicole that he didn't have any money, prompting her to advise him to do a really good job pruning Victor's roses in the hope that Victor would give him a hefty loan. Xander started to wonder if Brady was really going to stand back and let a family member get steamrolled, but Brady interrupted and warned Xander not to play the family card with him. Brady insisted that Xander deserved to be rotting in prison for what he had done to Nicole and Eric. Nicole agreed but added that she would settle for leaving Xander miserable and broke instead.
Later, when he was alone with Theresa, Brady noted that Xander had been quick to defend her earlier. Brady guessed Theresa was planning to use Xander to make him jealous, but she laughed off the suspicion, insisting she wasn't that transparent. Brady warned that Xander was dangerous and needed to be avoided at all costs. After Theresa confirmed that she understood, Brady headed off to the courthouse to make sure Xander behaved himself when Nicole won the civil suit.
Serena ran into Eric at the hospital and informed him that she had decided to stay in Salem. Serena added, however, that Eric wouldn't have to worry about running into her often, since she would be up to her eyeballs in neural disorder research for the next six months. Meanwhile, Nicole arrived and happily served Serena with a subpoena. Serena was shocked to learn that she would only have an hour to prepare before the trial began.
Eric followed Serena to the town square and offered to help her find a lawyer -- or at least accompany her to the courthouse for moral support. Serena wondered why Eric would be willing to do that for her. Eric explained that he understood Nicole's motivation but didn't think she was handling the matter the right way. Eric doubted that the civil suit would give Nicole peace of mind. Xander interrupted and wondered if Serena was enjoying the mess she had made. Xander insisted that Serena was the only one who deserved to be sued, since things would have played out differently if she had done her job properly from the very beginning.
After the trial, Serena admitted to Eric that, while she could scrape together the two hundred fifty thousand dollars she had been ordered to pay Nicole, it would be difficult to do so. Eric guessed Serena would have to use the money she had acquired from the sale of the blood diamonds. Serena knew Eric thought that money was tainted. Serena had, however, been hoping to use it to turn her life around -- and turn a negative thing into a positive thing in the process. Eric insisted on taking Serena to lunch so she wouldn't have to be alone after a rough start to the day, and she agreed on the condition that he would let her pay for it -- while she still could.
At the Horton Town Square, Brady warned a giddy Nicole not to get her hopes up about receiving money from Xander. Nicole wasn't particularly worried because she believed that people who couldn't pay their debts were sent to prison. "In Dickensian England, maybe, but not so much anymore," Brady clarified. Nicole assumed the judge would make an exception, since he had sounded pretty serious when he had threatened Xander in the courtroom earlier, but Brady guessed that had just been a scare tactic. Brady advised Nicole to move on, but she insisted that Xander was going to pay -- one way or another.
Concerned, Brady wondered what was going on with Nicole. "I'm a grown woman, Brady, and I sleep with the lights on. And whenever I get in an elevator, or I'm in a small space, I still --" Nicole began, but Brady stopped her and gave her a hug, assuring her that her fears were normal and that things would get better over time. Nicole agreed, conceding that what Xander had done to her was child's play compared to the frights true professionals had given her in the past. Brady optimistically suggested that Nicole's courtroom victory might allow her to sleep a bit better that night.
Later, after Brady left, Nicole overheard Eric jokingly suggesting to Serena that they could dine and dash. Serena laughed and assured Eric that she wasn't broke enough to resort to such tactics yet. "The day is young," Nicole pointed out as she approached Eric and Serena. Eric told Nicole to back off, prompting her to incredulously wonder why he was sticking up for Serena. Nicole reminded Eric that he could have filed his own civil suit against Serena, but he countered that Nicole already had that angle covered. Nicole insisted Serena didn't deserve Eric's sympathy, and she held out a hand as she impatiently told Serena it was time to pay up.
Theresa finished applying some makeup just as Xander stormed into the Kiriakis mansion. Theresa told Xander that Brady had told her about the verdict when he had called earlier to let her know he would be gone all afternoon. "It's blood from a stone. I don't have the money!" Xander complained. Theresa didn't think there was much the judge could do to Xander if Xander couldn't afford to pay the fine, but Xander clarified that the judge had threatened to throw him in prison. Xander guessed he wouldn't get support from anyone at the mansion, but Theresa assured him that not everyone who lived there was against him.
After offering to help Xander feel better, Theresa grabbed him and started kissing him. When Xander responded to the kiss, Theresa encouraged him to get a bit rough with her. Xander pushed Theresa onto the couch and ripped open her shirt then started kissing her again. "Get off me, you pig! Let go!" Theresa shouted when she heard the front door open. Theresa slapped Xander, who assumed she was just acting out a fantasy -- until Brady grabbed him and pushed him off her. After knocking Xander out, Brady went to check on Theresa, who assured him that Xander hadn't hurt her. "I want to call the cops on that psycho," Theresa added.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefano once again tried to stress to Chad that the future of the DiMera family hinged on the fortune Abigail was set to inherit, but Chad found that hard to believe. "Do something for me, will you, please? Act like a DiMera, damn it! Or get the hell out!" Stefano impatiently ordered Chad.
"Wow. From zero to disowned in sixty seconds," Chad observed. Chad guessed Stefano was bluffing, but Stefano dared Chad to test that theory. Backpedaling slightly, Chad clarified that, while he did respect Stefano, the whole thing just seemed a bit nuts to him. Chad offered to go through the company books with Stefano and prove to him that they were doing fine without Abigail's inheritance.
"You think everything of value is in the books?" Stefano wondered. "No. I do get that our family has...other resources," Chad conceded. Chad maintained, however, that in the twenty-first century, it was crazy to go after a woman just to acquire a piece of land. Stefano urged Chad to go after Abigail for his own sake. Chad reminded Stefano that Abigail had chosen Ben, adding that, while it was going to be hard to let her go, he planned to respect her decision. Stefano protested that Chad and Abigail were destined to be together. "Okay, let's find out," Chad said, reaching for his cell phone. "Finally! A man!" Stefano happily replied as Chad left the room.
In Ben and Abigail's apartment, Ben surprised Abigail with tickets to Las Vegas, explaining that he didn't want to put their wedding off any longer. After realizing that Ben was being serious, Abigail wondered why he had told Chad they would be leaving Salem. Ben said he had simply been trying to make a point, and when Abigail stressed that it wasn't okay for him to tell people such things before they reached a decision together, he apologized for jumping the gun. Abigail assured Ben that they didn't need to move away from Salem or go to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding just to get away from Chad, since he was already out of her life for good.
"[But] you'd look cute in a little sequin wedding dress right now, and soon --" Ben began. "What, soon I'm gonna be huge?" Abigail guessed. Ben insisted Abigail would look gorgeous during every minute of her pregnancy, adding that he had just meant that she might feel more comfortable getting married early in the pregnancy. "Hmm. Nice save...almost," Abigail muttered with a sigh. Abigail suspected Ben might be embarrassed about the idea of her walking down the aisle while visibly pregnant, but he assured her that wasn't the case. Abigail tearfully stressed that she wasn't ashamed, and she refused to run away and get married in secret.
Ben hugged Abigail and apologized, assuring her that he understood. Ben added that he simply wanted to marry Abigail soon, but she stressed that, while she wanted the same thing, they still had plenty of time to plan a proper wedding in Salem. Ben nodded and promised to give Abigail her dream wedding. As Abigail and Ben finished eating breakfast, she excitedly rattled off a list of all the things they had to do before the wedding. Ben seemed like he was barely listening, but when Abigail received a phone call, he gauged her reaction and suddenly grew much more interested in paying attention to her.
Abigail excused herself after the quick phone conversation, claiming that she was needed at the hospital. Ben's suspicions were aroused, so after waiting a few minutes, he checked the tracking app on his phone and stormed out of the apartment after discovering that Abigail was at the DiMera mansion. Ben sneaked onto the DiMera property and started searching for Abigail in the garden.
Meanwhile, inside the mansion, Stefano happily greeted Abigail when Chad led her into the study. Chad informed Abigail that he had asked to see her because Stefano had insisted that Chad needed to be happy -- and marrying her was the only way to achieve that happiness. Abigail stammered as she tried to think of a response, but Chad continued talking, explaining that Stefano was really just pushing for them to get married so he could get his hands on her fortune. Confused, Abigail pointed out that she didn't have a fortune. "Oh, you will," Chad assured Abigail.
Stefano forced a laugh and tried to protest that it wasn't the time or the place for such a conversation, but Chad disagreed. Chad gently asked if Abigail was aware that Bridget was really sick. Abigail nodded and wondered how Chad had found out that information. "My father made it his business to know...because of a piece of land that Bridget's family left her that is worth a bundle. In fact, I'm told that it's a very unique piece of property in about ten different ways," Chad explained.
Stefano warned Chad not to be foolish, but Chad continued that the land was critical to the well-being and solvency of his family -- in fact, they had to have it, and Bridget had left it to Abigail in her will. Stefano complained that Chad was needlessly upsetting Abigail, but she tearfully insisted that she wasn't upset; she just didn't understand how Chad and Stefano knew such things. Chad apologetically explained that he had assumed Abigail had already been told about the property she was set to inherit.
Insisting that the inheritance wasn't important, Abigail started searching for her cell phone so she could call Bridget, but when Chad tried to stop her, she focused her attention on Stefano and stressed that she would never part with anything Bridget gave her. Chad understood and promised that Stefano would find another acquisition -- and Abigail would never have to deal with any of the DiMeras again. After thanking Abigail for agreeing to see him, Chad encouraged her to get back to planning her wedding.
Abigail informed Chad that she and Ben would be getting married -- and staying -- in Salem. Chad tried to sound neutral as he replied that he was sure Abigail's family would be happy to hear that. "Yeah, I'm gonna need their help with the bay -- with the...baby. I'm having -- uh, Ben and I are having a baby," Abigail hesitantly revealed. Stunned, Chad quietly congratulated Abigail before asking if she was sure Ben was the father. Abigail confirmed that she had taken a paternity test, and it was definitely Ben's baby. Chad realized that the uncertainty was what Abigail had been upset about when he had found her crying at the hospital one day.
Chad predicted that Abigail was going to be a beautiful mother, and he hoped she and Ben would be happy together. Abigail left after assuring Chad that he would one day find happiness, as well. "You arrogant imbecile! Do you have any idea what you just cost this family, huh? Huh? You are gonna pay dearly for that little stunt of yours, believe me!" Stefano shouted at Chad, and Abigail, who had paused outside the study to regain her composure, heard every word. Abigail took one last deep breath and showed herself out of the mansion.
Stefano continued lashing out at Chad, wondering if he was proud of what he had just done. Chad insisted he wasn't going to let Stefano continue blindsiding the people of Salem. Stefano complained that Chad wasn't a DiMera, and Chad conceded that Stefano might be right. "I've lived most of my life without this family and your sick, manipulative schemes. It wasn't an easy life, but it was mine," Chad added.
Observing that Chad clearly wanted that life back, Stefano ordered him to get out. "Fine. Sounds like a plan," Chad replied. "And stay out! And no, I do not mean 'take a walk.' Leave this house, because you are a disgrace to this family!" Stefano angrily added. After leaving the mansion, Chad went to Club TBD and ordered a drink. "Keep 'em coming," Chad told the bartender after draining the glass in one gulp.
Ben was waiting for Abigail when she returned to their apartment. Abigail stuck to the story she had given Ben earlier, and when she went to take a shower, he grabbed the tickets to Las Vegas and angrily tore them into little pieces.
In the Kiriakis mansion, Brady walked in on Xander and Theresa struggling on the couch. Brady yanked Xander to his feet and punched him. As Xander lay on the ground, rubbing his jaw, Brady called the police. Xander protested that he was innocent and that Theresa had put the moves on him first. Brady warned Xander that he would go to jail, where he belonged. Growling, Xander said he was not stupid enough to attack Theresa in Victor's living room.
As Brady and Xander warned one another to back off, Victor entered the living room and demanded to know what had happened. Theresa claimed that Xander had attacked her, and Brady chimed in that he had witnessed what had happened. Victor ordered Brady to take Theresa outside so that he could chat with Xander.
In the garden, Theresa sat on a bench, clutching her shirt together. Brady asked Theresa if she wanted to see a doctor, but she refused. Theresa said that she wanted the police to see the evidence of what Xander had done. Theresa thanked Brady for his help. When Theresa wondered aloud if she had caused the problem with Xander, Brady reminded Theresa that she was not to blame for Xander's actions. As Theresa broke down in tears, Brady consoled her. Theresa smiled.
In the living room, Xander argued that he was innocent. "I was hoping that motherhood would improve her character," Victor said. Relieved, Xander asked if Victor would help him. Shaking his head, Victor reminded Xander of the litany of things that Xander had done wrong. Victor commented that he had no reason to help Xander. With a wounded look on his face, Xander countered that he was family. Victor scowled.
"We are not family. You're the castoff son of my worthless brother. You take and you take, and all you've managed to do was disgrace all of us. You were supposed to learn to follow orders, but obviously you learned nothing. You're worthless, like your father," Victor yelled. When Xander countered that Victor was a "smug son-of-a-bitch," Victor agreed. Victor added that he would not help Xander with the settlement. With a chuckle, Victor congratulated Nicole on securing a judgment against Xander. Victor told Xander that he was on his own.
The police arrived and interviewed Theresa about the incident. Xander argued that he was innocent, but Brady corroborated Theresa's story. The police arrested Xander for assault and attempted rape. As the police read Xander his rights, Victor commented that Xander would have to get his legal counsel from a legal aid office.
After Xander was arrested, Theresa and Brady talked on the front porch. Brady promised that he would testify at Xander's trial about what he had witnessed. Theresa thanked Brady for rescuing her, and she invited Brady to dinner as a thank you. With a chuckle, Brady said he had wondered when Theresa would cash in on her attack. Theresa disagreed. Brady warned Theresa that nothing had changed and that he wanted Theresa to keep away from him.
In the Brady Pub, Abigail told Will about the conversation she'd had with Chad and Stefano at the DiMera mansion about the land in Ireland. Abigail was impressed that Chad had defied his father in order to protect her. Nodding, Will agreed that it was brave of Chad to stand up to Stefano. When Abigail mentioned Chad's selflessness, Will smiled. Will encouraged Abigail to be honest with herself and admit that she was in love with Chad. Abigail denied the accusation.
Will suggested that Abigail had been lucky that she had not married Chad because Stefano might have attempted to speed along Abigail's inheritance. Relieved, Abigail nodded. Will and Abigail worried what would happen to Chad since he had defied his father. "It just made me see again how much he really loves me," Abigail said.
"He tries to cover it up, but being a DiMera means a lot to Chad. And he basically gave all that up. For me," Abigail said. Will cautioned Abigail not to let her feelings about Chad cloud her feelings about Ben. Confused, Abigail said she had believed that Will was on Chad's side. Will assured Abigail that he was in her corner and wanted her to be happy. Will added that Ben was somebody that Abigail could count on.
"Chad is, to say the least, complicated. A lot of drama, a lot of baggage, and a father from hell. No, you've got to put Chad completely behind you," Will counseled. With a crack in her voice, Abigail agreed. Abigail changed the subject to the baby. As Will nodded, Abigail asked about Sonny. Will admitted that he had not heard from Sonny. Abigail assured Will that Sonny would clear his head then return to Salem.
"If I hadn't have lied, if I hadn't have waged this guerilla warfare on Paul..." Will said. Abigail reminded Will that she had screwed up many times, but she was engaged and expecting a baby. Will urged Abigail to trust Ben.
In the town square, Nicole asked Serena for her settlement money. Serena grudgingly handed Nicole a check to settle the lawsuit. As Nicole mocked her, Eric hushed Nicole and asked her to stop. Hurt, Nicole reminded Eric that Serena had played a part in their near-death experience. Eric countered that Serena had been wrong but should not be lumped in with Xander. Eric asked Nicole not to ruin Serena's life. Nicole disagreed.
"Now I thought you really changed, but here you stand just vindictive and money-hungry," Eric said to a clearly stunned Nicole. "Go ahead. Think the worst of me like you always do," Nicole muttered before walking away. Serena thanked Eric for sticking up for her. With a shrug, Eric said he had forgiven Serena. Eric noted that he felt it would be best if he and Serena no longer talked. Wiping away tears, Serena said that she understood.
As Chad steadily grew drunk at Club TBD, he stared at a photo of Abigail on his phone. When Chad slammed his phone on the bar, Ben showed up. Ben sarcastically commented that Chad looked like he had endured a rough day. With a smirk, Chad noted that Ben was getting everything he wanted.
"Lucky man. Lucky things didn't turn out just a little bit differently," Chad teased. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Ben asked. Chad said he was feeling philosophical. Chad warned Ben not to take Abigail for granted, and Ben puffed up his chest in annoyance. Clyde arrived and ushered Ben over to a table, defusing the situation. Clyde reminded Ben to steer clear of Chad. Confused, Ben commented that Chad had pushed his buttons but then had backed off of him. Clyde repeated his warning to stay away from Chad.
At the bar, Serena sat down next to Chad and joined him for a drink. Chad introduced himself, and with a clink in toast, Serena introduced herself to Chad. Across the room, Ben made a sarcastic comment about Chad looking broken up about Abigail. Clyde noted that Chad's chumminess with another woman was meaningless. Clyde ordered Ben to marry Abigail right away. Stewing, Ben asked Clyde why he should not worry about Abigail when she had visited Chad at his house earlier. Clyde muttered under his breath.
When Clyde wondered aloud why Abigail would visit Chad, Ben noted that Abigail had lied about the visit. Clyde remarked that Chad was in a terrible mood and drinking alone. With a shrug, Clyde said Abigail's visit had likely not been a friendly one. Clyde encouraged Ben to go home, but Ben was still angry. Ben said that it did not feel like he had won.
At the bar, Chad informed Serena that he was technically a DiMera, but he had been disowned. Serena joked that she had a great relationship with her mother because they were on different continents. Chad and Serena toasted to "not needing parents." As Ben left the club, Serena commented that Chad did not seem to like him.
"No more than he likes me," Chad said. Chad asked about Serena's troubles. With a groan, Serena commented that she had screwed things up with a guy she loved. Chad said he understood how Serena felt. As Chad offered another drink, Serena eagerly accepted. After the first sip, Serena wiped away tears and excused herself to go to the ladies' room. While Chad sipped his drink alone, Clyde sidled up beside him.
Chad asked Clyde to leave. As Clyde stared at Chad, Serena returned and asked what was happening. Clyde commented that he was saying hello to Chad then he walked away. Serena noted that Clyde did not seem to be a friend of Chad's. When Serena remarked that Chad's fists were clenched, Chad said that if Serena "got to know him," she would learn he was not a violent man.
"And am I? Gonna get to know more of you?" Serena asked. Leaning closer, Chad said they should talk over another drink. Serena nodded in agreement.
In the park, Abigail stared at Chad's number on her phone, and she wondered aloud if he was okay. As Abigail contemplated calling Chad, Ben walked into the clearing. Flustered, Abigail said she had been looking for Ben. When Ben commented that Abigail had seemed unnerved when he had last seen her, Abigail swore she was fine. Ben asked Abigail to tell him the truth. Abigail said she was stressed by work, the wedding, and the baby. Ben reminded Abigail that she was not alone. Noting that she needed to shop, Abigail encouraged Ben to head home and said that she would meet up with him later. As Abigail walked away, Ben furrowed his brow.
In the park, Nicole met up with Daniel at the bench. Daniel was anxious to hear Nicole's news, but Chloe texted with a photo of Parker. Smiling over the picture of Parker's sculpture from camp, Nicole noted that Parker would be excited to show her the sculpture in person. Daniel told Nicole that she would be a wonderful stepmother. Daniel added that Nicole had definitely changed.
When Daniel asked about Nicole's news, she hesitated long enough for Daniel's phone to ring. The hospital called to ask about a consult, so Daniel agreed to talk to Nicole about her news later. Nicole walked to the town square and talked to herself about whether she had changed. Nicole saw a flyer for a homeless center and commented as she looked heavenward, "You are about as subtle as I am."
Nicole met up with Daniel at Victor's club, and she informed him that she had won her civil suit against Xander and Serena. Daniel congratulated Nicole. Nicole mentioned that she had collected money from Serena, and she added that Eric had accused her of being vindictive and money-hungry. Daniel assured Nicole that Eric was wrong. With a relieved smile, Nicole thanked Daniel for backing her.
Nicole explained that she had thought about Eric's comment, and she had given away Serena's money to a homeless shelter. Nicole added that Eric had made a good point when he had noted that Serena had not been the one that had attempted to kill her. Nicole added that any money she collected from Xander, she would use on herself. With a smile, Daniel kissed Nicole's hand.
Grinning, Nicole said she wanted to quit journalism and use Xander's money to start her own business. Nicole admitted that she did not know what kind of business. With a smile, Daniel encouraged Nicole to "dream big."
At the police station, Rafe informed Hope that he had submitted his paperwork to be reinstated on the police force. Hope nonchalantly said okay. As Rafe nodded and turned to leave, Hope raised her arms in glee and laughed. Hope jumped to her feet and hugged Rafe. Rafe cautioned Hope to remember that his return was not a sure thing. As Rafe shrugged, he noticed a file on Hope's desk with Clyde Weston's name on it.
Worried, Rafe asked Hope why she had not given up investigating Clyde. Hope reassured Rafe that the folder was destined for the shredder because Aiden had investigated Clyde and had told her that Clyde was clean.
While in his office, Aiden talked to someone on the phone about money he owed. Aiden promised that he would soon be receiving a large amount of money and would pay his debt. After hanging up the phone, Aiden stared at his file on Clyde and muttered, "You get a pass, Weston. But only for now." As Aiden fed his file on Clyde into the shredder, Hope stopped by for a visit. Hope commented on the empty Clyde file, and Aiden admitted that his connection to Clyde was severed.
Aiden pulled Hope close, and they kissed. As they removed one another's clothing, Aiden commented that his secretary had the day off. Hope smiled and removed Aiden's jacket. As Aiden leaned Hope back against his desk, Rafe walked in unannounced. Rafe awkwardly apologized for interrupting. When Rafe mentioned that he had filed his paperwork at the police station, Aiden congratulated him.
With a grunt of remembrance, Aiden fished out a file from the pile on his desk and handed it to Rafe. Aiden informed Rafe that he had secured a hearing for Gabi. While Rafe reviewed the file, he asked about Gabi's chances. Aiden said that it looked good. Aiden mentioned Nick, and Hope tensed up. As Aiden apologized, Hope said that she understood there had been extenuating circumstances leading to his murder. Hope added that Arianna needed her mother. With a smile, Hope told Rafe that Aiden would help Gabi.
After Hope left, Aiden and Rafe talked about his reinstatement on the force. With a smirk, Aiden wondered aloud if Rafe could keep his feelings for Hope to himself if Rafe partnered with Hope again. Surprised, Rafe shook his head in disbelief. Rafe stressed that he cared about Hope but that there was nothing more there.
"I get it, don't worry about it. Hope is an amazing woman. In fact, I don't get why every man on earth isn't in love with her. I just need to know it's not going to be a problem," Aiden said. Rafe assured Aiden that there would not be a problem. With a nod, Aiden confided to Rafe that he planned to ask Hope to marry him.
At the station, Hope was working when an officer approached her desk and asked about Rafe. Hope confirmed that Rafe wanted to return and that she was hoping he would be able to soon. With a smile, the officer commented, "You guys were a heck of a pair. Almost as good as you and Bo." With a nervous shrug, Hope agreed. "I think so too," Hope said quietly.
Victor, Maggie, Kayla, Doug, Julie, Aiden, and Hope gathered in Caroline's hospital room to ask for her help with planning the Salem Bicentennial celebration. Although Caroline was eager to get out of the hospital, she insisted she couldn't help out. Aiden described to Caroline the project they needed her help with: a digital scrapbook of Salem, containing oral histories, pictures, and newspaper clippings they would collect and record from residents -- with the assistance of Caroline and other denizens who'd could help identify the old photos or add details to stories. One copy would go in the library, and they would put another in a time capsule.
Kayla said she thought the project would also be good therapy to stimulate Caroline's memory. Maggie announced that Victor had just purchased a gorgeous Victorian house near the park, where they would hold the celebration. The others enthusiastically chimed in that people would dress in period costumes, and Doug was putting together a barbershop quartet -- and they all needed Caroline's help. Caroline happily agreed to pitch in.
In the hallway a bit later, Aiden kissed Hope and thanked her for including him -- and Chase -- in her life and her family's history. Aiden was grateful that Hope's family had accepted him, in spite of their continuing love for Bo. Hope stated that she had just been "walking through life" until she'd met Aiden. Aiden informed Hope that he had a surprise for her -- a contribution to make to the bicentennial celebration that would "knock [her] socks off."
After Doug and Julie called Hope back into Caroline's room, Aiden took a jewelry box out of his pocket and admired the sapphire and diamond ring inside. Aiden got a phone call and spoke in hushed tones: "I am doing my job, but I could use another advance... Don't insult me; I know what I'm doing... Ever since I came to town, I've been given one task by you, and that is Hope Brady... No, she is over Bo Brady. I'm sure of it... Trust me: she's mine now."
Marlena met Will at the Brady Pub and asked if he'd heard from Sonny. "No, and I don't think I'm going to... It's over, Grandma. I've lost him for good -- and it's because of Paul," Will whined. Will admitted that he had no idea how to explain to Arianna where her other daddy was. When the topic changed to John and Marlena, Marlena admitted that she and John were trying to find their way back to each other after a breakdown in communication -- and she wondered if Sonny were trying to begin that same process, as well. Marlena urged her grandson to be patient with his husband.
As John and Paul arrived at the park outside Horton Square, a proud John was carrying a box of baseballs that Paul had signed. John thought the kids would be thrilled to play their all-star game with those balls. Sensing Paul's downbeat mood, John asked his son about Derrick. "There's nothing really left to say to Derrick. I haven't talked to him, and that's all thanks to Will," Paul maintained. He admitted that what had happened between him and Will had been a huge mistake. John pointed out that Paul hadn't known that Will was married, but Will had.
Paul noted that he'd never dreamed he would be talking about that kind of subject with his dad, but John was pretty good at "the dad part" of giving advice. John confessed that he wished he could have known Paul when Paul had been a kid to take him to games and play catch with him. "You know, it's not too late. We can still do that," Paul said, neatly bouncing a ball off his forearm in John's direction.
Later, Will passed by Paul in Horton Square without saying a word. When Paul tried to talk to him, Will snapped, "Haven't you done enough to screw up my life? Not only is my husband gone, I have to explain to my daughter why her daddy isn't here." Will blamed Paul for all of that. "Well, Sonny's gone, and you sure as hell don't have to worry about me anymore. So why don't you just live your life, and I'll live mine?" Paul suggested before walking away.
Adrienne met Lucas in the Kiriakis mansion living room, "dressed down" for their date as he'd requested. She tried to get Lucas to tell her what he had planned, but he wouldn't spill any details. Before Lucas and Adrienne could head out, Justin entered the room and informed Adrienne that he'd gotten a letter from Sonny. When Lucas cleared out to give Justin and Adrienne some privacy, they read their son's letter together. They agreed that it seemed as if Sonny had made the right decision in leaving town for a while, but Adrienne noted that Sonny had admitted to missing Arianna and Will.
"I don't know why, after what Will did to him," Justin remarked. Adrienne acknowledged that she knew exactly what Sonny was going through -- probably wishing he could turn off his feelings for Will but knowing that wasn't possible. Adrienne left for her date with Lucas, who was waiting outside the front door. Lucas promised that Adrienne would love the surprise he had planned for her.
An exhilarated Adrienne was howling with laughter when she and Lucas headed into the park after he'd taken her nighttime bungee jumping. Adrienne realized that had been why Lucas had questioned her about her phobias earlier. Lucas declared that the evening had confirmed that Adrienne wasn't afraid of anything. Adrienne started telling Lucas about a parasailing incident on trip to Hawaii with Justin, but she stopped herself and apologized for mentioning her ex during her date with Lucas.
Lucas assured Adrienne that he didn't want her to pretend as if her past didn't exist. Adrienne admitted that the divorce had been very difficult, and Lucas suggested that she might need a little more time to get used to the idea of being single before she started dating again. Adrienne insisted that she loved moving on to the next chapter of her life. Leaping up from the bench, she shouted that she wanted to keep going late-night bungee-jumping and having other adventures -- with Lucas. Lucas and Adrienne ran out of the park hand-in-hand.
Paige sat alone in Horton Square, ruminating about how J.J. was working undercover for the DEA to take Kyle down. Meanwhile, J.J. was waiting on a park bench for Kyle to call.
In the park, Eve listened to the recording she'd secretly made of Jennifer and J.J.'s conversation in which J.J. had revealed that he was working for the DEA, mostly because he wanted to get Kyle off the streets and away from Paige. "Rash, brave, and so, so stupid," Eve muttered to herself. She strode out of the park with an air of determination.
A few minutes later, Eve surprised Kyle by showing up on his doorstep. Clearly flustered that Eve had found out where he lived, Kyle informed her that Paige wasn't there. When Eve said she wasn't there to talk about Paige, Kyle guessed that Eve wanted to talk about J.J., so he invited her in. Kyle played dumb when Eve referenced his "little illegal business enterprise," so she informed him bluntly about J.J., "The little punk is working for the cops." Pointing out that Eve wanted to get back at J.J., Kyle demanded proof.
Eve played the recording for Kyle of J.J. and Jennifer's conversation. Kyle was still skeptical, pointing out that J.J. could have been feeding his mom a line and wondering why Eve was more interested in getting back at J.J. than nailing the alleged drug dealer who was dating her daughter. Eve refused to answer, instead demanding to know what Kyle intended to do about J.J.
After she left Kyle's, Eve called in an anonymous tip: "You know the drug problem that has hit Salem recently and hit it hard? Well, it can all be traced back to the legendary Tom Horton's granddaughter, Jennifer Rose Horton Deveraux... Mrs. Deveraux's son, J.J., is a known drug dealer... Mrs. Deveraux knows all about it, and she's covering for her son, just like she always does."
A little later, Eve ran into Paige, who tried to walk away without talking to her mom. Eve grabbed Paige's arm and begged her to let go of her anger, which was causing Paige to make bad choices -- such as going out with Kyle. Eve said she'd heard a rumor that J.J. was working with the cops to nail Kyle -- and Paige should stay far away from "those two losers."
Paige demanded to know where Eve had heard the rumor and if Eve had told anyone about it. Eve warned Paige to think about what Kyle might do if he found out what J.J. was doing, because drug dealers lived very dangerous lives. "You are playing with fire," Eve cautioned. After angrily ordering Eve to butt out of her life, Paige left.
Later, Eve wandered into the Edge of the Square, where Justin was sitting alone, nursing a drink. When Justin observed that Eve was alone, she encouraged him to ask her to join him. Justin stood, extended his hand, and invited her to sit down. Eve remarked that Justin sitting alone in a relatively empty bar had looked like the "cover of a moody Sinatra album." "It's not quite a quarter to three," Justin countered. Eve suggested that Justin loosen his tie and let her buy him another drink. "Then, hell, who knows? Strangers in the night," she proposed.
J.J. went to Kyle's at Kyle's request, and Kyle said he thought it was time they had a talk about working together. J.J. was nervous because Kyle was holding a gun and sort of waving it around the entire time. Kyle noted that he didn't know that much about J.J., particularly how J.J. thought. J.J. said he didn't like mind games, so if there were something wrong, he hoped Kyle would just spit it out. Kyle assured J.J. that nothing was wrong.
J.J. recited his "stats": the town square was named after his great-grandparents, Abe Carver was like an uncle to him, and his mom and Detective Hope Brady were as close as sisters -- meaning J.J. was very well-connected. "This is my town, and I think you need someone that knows what I know," J.J. asserted. Seemingly pleased, Kyle chortled and shook J.J.'s hand as he announced that he had just the job -- a promotion, actually -- for J.J. to prove himself with.
Kyle said he wanted J.J. to be a part of the day-to-day running of the business. "I've got a shipment of meth coming in. Bro, it's top-notch stuff -- and I want you to sample it for me. J.J., you're the guy! And you're going to tell me if it's the real deal," Kyle explained, while J.J. tried to hide his fear.
On her way home, Abigail stopped in Horton Square to buy some bridal magazines. One of the headlines read, "Are You Marrying the Right Guy?"
At Ben and Abigail's apartment, Ben irritably wondered where his fiancée was, since she'd told him that she was headed straight home. When Abigail arrived home, she grinned as she showed him why she'd been delayed: a large stack of wedding magazines. She was eager to review some of the things she'd found but quickly realized that it would bore him to tears. Ben asked if they could look at the magazines later, hinting with kisses on Abigail's neck that he would rather have sex than make wedding plans at that moment.
Ben rather hastily maneuvered Abigail to the bed, kissing her most of the way. Abigail grabbed him and made him look at her as she reminded him that they had all night and didn't need to hurry. With a playful, sexy smile, Abigail started by slipping off her jacket. Ben peeled off his shirt then Abigail began unbuttoning his pants. Slowly, they undressed each other and disrobed for one another, finally climbing into bed together.
After Ben and Abigail had sex, Ben kissed Abigail's belly and marveled that there was a new life growing there. He promised to be a hands-on dad as soon as the baby was born, because all he'd ever wanted was to be part of a family, something he'd never had before. "But now I do, and it's because of you," Ben said. "It's because of us," Abigail amended, stroking Ben's face.
At Club TBD, Chad and Serena were commiserating over expensive Scotch, which Chad was buying, and getting progressively more inebriated. Serena slurred her words when she complimented Chad's taste in whiskey and clothing. Over Serena's protests, Chad waved the bartender over and had him leave the bottle. Serena briefly worried about how she would get home, but Chad reassured her that he would take care of her. Realizing that likely meant Chad had a limo outside, she declared, "I really like you." Chad echoed the sentiment.
At the bar, Clyde glowered in Chad and Serena's direction. Serena got up to go to the ladies' room but stumbled. She quipped, "It's a little drunk out tonight." Unobserved, Clyde stepped away from the bar to answer a phone call. Chad fantasized that Abigail showed up to tell him that the baby was really his and she wanted to marry him, not Ben, and had been moved that Chad had risked everything to protect her from Stefano.
When Serena returned to the table, she observed that Chad's mood had turned a bit gloomier. Chad dodged the question by telling Serena that he'd missed her. They began making out at the table, while Clyde continued to spy on them from across the bar. After a few minutes of passionate kissing, Serena pulled away, noting that it wasn't a good idea. "Why? Was I doing it wrong?" Chad asked, guffawing at his own joke. Serena assured him that wasn't the case, but she was not only plastered, she was also the "town pariah."
Chad maintained that there was nothing Serena could do to hurt his reputation, especially since having the last name DiMera already made him somewhat of a pariah. He leaned across the table to kiss Serena some more, but she backed away, apologetically reminding Chad that she'd had a really bad day. "That's another thing we both have in common. So, why don't we be nice to each other, because who the hell else is gonna do it?" Chad suggested.
Serena politely declined. She rose to leave, but Chad pulled her down into his lap and began kissing her rather forcefully. Serena struggled her way back out of his lap and slapped Chad hard enough to bloody his lip and attract the attention of everyone else in the club. "You need to learn that no means no," Serena warned him before storming out. After cleaning up his lip with a napkin, Chad followed Serena out.
From the Horton Town Square, Eve eavesdropped via the listening device as Roman and Watts informed Jennifer and J.J. that a rumor was circulating about J.J. dealing meth out of the Horton Center. J.J. wasn't particularly concerned about his own reputation, since being known as a meth dealer would just give him more street credibility, but he didn't want the Horton Center to get dragged into the matter, and Jennifer didn't want that, either.
Roman and Watts warned that Jennifer could just make things worse -- and perhaps even put J.J. in danger -- if she drew too much attention to the rumor in her attempt to quash it, because doing so could cause Kyle's boss to start thinking of J.J. as a liability who was more trouble than he was worth. J.J. insisted he could talk to Kyle and resolve the matter himself, but Roman and Watts ordered him to let them handle it.
After Roman and Watts left, J.J. assured Jennifer that he was going to make sure the rumor went away before it ended up hurting the Horton Center. Jennifer reminded J.J. that he had been ordered not to do anything to stop the rumor, but he clarified that he planned to stop Kyle instead. Ignoring Jennifer's advice about being careful, J.J. bragged that he was really close to nailing Kyle -- and getting another chance with Paige as a result.
Kyle ran into Paige outside Club TBD but didn't have much time to chat because he had a meeting to get to. Assuming Kyle was planning to meet with J.J. to try to figure out if the rumors about him were true, Paige warned Kyle not to believe everything he heard about J.J. Paige started to add that she had just heard an outlandish rumor from one of J.J.'s groupies earlier, but Kyle interrupted and clarified that he had gotten his information about J.J. from a grown woman who knew J.J. and his family very well. After Kyle left, Paige contacted J.J. and left him a voicemail message to let him know he was in danger.
Eve was thrilled when Paige unexpectedly called to arrange a meeting with her at the Brady Pub, but when Paige arrived, she quickly accused Eve of ratting J.J. out to Kyle. Eve claimed that she didn't know what Paige was talking about, but Paige wasn't convinced. Paige fretted that Eve had just painted a target on J.J.'s back and put him in serious danger. Eve countered that Paige was an honors student who never should have gotten herself involved with the likes of J.J. or Kyle in the first place. "Please, just let those two little thugs play their game, okay? And it'll all be over with very soon," Eve assured Paige.
"'Over'? Eve, what does that mean?" Paige worriedly asked. Eve protested that Paige was supposed to refer to her as "Mom." Ignoring the point, Paige demanded to know what Eve had done, but Eve continued to feign innocence. Still skeptical, Paige started gathering her things while Eve begged her to stay. "If you did something, and J.J. or anyone else gets hurt, you will answer to me," Paige warned before storming off. Eve sighed and turned her attention to her cell phone. "Nice photo, Jen. Go, Sonix," Eve muttered, less excited about what she was seeing than she probably would have been a few minutes earlier.
At the Horton house, Jennifer received a phone call from Watts, who started to warn her about something that had been posted online but then had to abruptly end the conversation when he received another call. Before Jennifer's browser finished loading, someone knocked on the front door, and she carried her tablet computer into the foyer to greet her visitors, Maggie and Julie, who were concerned about her because of what they had just seen online. Jennifer turned her attention back to the tablet screen and found herself staring at images of her and J.J. on the front page of the Sonix website, under the heading "Salem's New Drug Lords?"
Jennifer assured Maggie and Julie that the story was garbage. Maggie said she had already instructed the Horton Center receptionist to direct all inquiries about the story to her, and she just needed to know how Jennifer wanted her to respond to the questions. Jennifer told Maggie to let people know that Jennifer didn't work at the Horton Center and wasn't even a board member. Julie protested that Jennifer was a board member, but Jennifer clarified that she planned to resign, effective immediately. Maggie and Julie tried to object, but Jennifer insisted that was what was best for the Horton Center. Julie and Maggie carefully tried to raise concerns about J.J., but Jennifer assured them that, while she couldn't get into all the details yet, she was confident that things weren't what they appeared to be.
Paige met with J.J. in a secluded section of the town square and warned him that someone had tipped Kyle off about J.J.'s involvement with the cops. J.J. thanked Paige for the warning and told her to steer clear of him until the matter was resolved. Paige protested that she wanted to help J.J., but he assured her that she already had, and he pointed out that it wouldn't be good for Kyle to see them together. Conceding that J.J. was probably right, Paige kissed his cheek and told him he was really brave, then reluctantly walked away. J.J. headed off in the opposite direction, and Paige waited a few seconds before changing course and following him.
As Hope entered her office, she received a phone call from Eric, who was worried about Serena because she hadn't shown up for work that day. Hope couldn't file a missing persons report yet but promised to let Eric know if she heard anything about Serena. After Hope ended the call, Aiden announced his presence and asked if everything was okay. Hope assured Aiden that everything was probably fine.
After explaining that he had just finished visiting a client, Aiden asked to use Hope's office phone to make a personal call -- one Hope wasn't allowed to be present for. Hope warned Aiden that she didn't like surprises, but he assured her that she would like the surprise he had in store for her. "Can't wait to find out what you're up to," Hope said before leaving the room. "With any luck, you never will," Aiden muttered.
Hope went to help John sort through his old case files, which she would be inheriting. Hope advised John not to let the ISA mess things up for him and Marlena again, and he assured her that he wouldn't. "It's hard enough with both partners on the job," Hope mused. John pointed out that Bo and Hope had been a great team. "And then we weren't," Hope added. Hope stressed, however, that she had moved past that -- and was happier than she had been in years.
While staring at a large, purple diamond engagement ring, Aiden contacted someone and made arrangements with them, explaining that he wanted something private and isolated because he wanted to have "her" all to himself for a surprise she would never expect. After Aiden ended the call, he received a text message from someone -- "Need to see you NOW! Don't keep me waiting!"
Aiden slumped back in his chair and started rubbing his temples -- just as Hope returned to her office. When Hope wondered what was wrong, Aiden told her he wouldn't be able to take a break with her because he was needed at the courthouse. After Aiden left, Hope rejoined John, and Marlena and Rafe soon arrived to announce that Rafe had passed his psych evaluation with flying colors.
Rafe later went to see Roman, who admitted that he still had some serious reservations about letting Rafe back on the police force, given the fact that Rafe had broken the rules during his previous stint. Rafe stressed that he was grateful that Roman was even considering the idea, but Roman told Rafe to thank John for that instead. Rafe promised that he wouldn't break the rules again, adding that he admired Roman -- and always had, dating back to when he had been Roman's son-in-law. Rafe swore that he would one day earn back Roman's trust. Roman hoped Rafe would be able to do just that. "Welcome back," Roman added as he extended a hand.
Chad woke up in a room at the Salem Inn, unable to remember how he had gotten there or what had happened to him the previous night. After gulping down half a bottle of water, Chad slumped to the floor and slowly started recalling bits and pieces of the previous twenty-four hours, but he couldn't remember anything that had happened after he had stumbled out of Club TBD on Serena's heels.
Ben surprised Abigail with breakfast in bed as a way of apologizing for his recent pushiness. Ben assured Abigail that he was okay with staying in Salem if that was what she wanted to do. Later, Ben offered to take Abigail shopping, explaining that his father had given him a credit card the previous day and had told him to use it to buy whatever they wanted for themselves and the baby. Abigail said she had to get some stuff done at the hospital first, but Ben quickly suggested that he could just accompany her there and wait for her to finish. Abigail seemed a bit hesitant but said she would be fine with that if Ben was sure he wouldn't get bored.
Nursing a serious hangover, Chad went to the town square for breakfast, but while he was sitting near a window in one of the restaurants there, he overheard Ben and Abigail talking outside. The couple had just finished setting up baby and bridal registries at a nearby store, and Ben was struggling to understand why Abigail had insisted on passing up the opportunity to purchase a particularly cute item for the baby. Abigail reminded Ben that it was bad luck to take baby items home during the early stages of a pregnancy. Ben complained about that being nothing more than a silly superstition, but Abigail wanted to stick to it, anyway.
Gauging Ben's somewhat guilty expression, Abigail guessed he had purchased something earlier without her knowledge. Ben reluctantly revealed a box of socks he had bought for the baby, and he assured Abigail that he would keep them in the trunk of his car for a while, so they wouldn't technically be entering the apartment. Ben kissed Abigail as they talked about how their child was going to be the best of both of them, and while they were embracing, he spotted Chad in the nearby restaurant. After the men made eye contact, Chad paid for his meal and stood to leave. Ben directed Abigail's attention to a shop in the opposite direction so she wouldn't see Chad as he passed through the town square.
While wandering through the park in search of Serena, Eric tried to call her again -- and was surprised when he heard a cell phone ringing in unison with the rings he was listening to on his end of the call. Eric followed the sound to a nearby flowerbed, where he first discovered Serena's cell phone then saw her lifeless body staring up at him. Eric contacted Hope and sadly informed her that he had found Serena -- dead.
Chad returned to his hotel room with a bottle of alcohol, which he deemed the breakfast of champions. After finding a glass, Chad took a seat in front of the television and turned it on, managing to catch a news broadcast that was already in progress. "We have breaking news. The murder victim found earlier in Salem Park has been identified. Her name is Serena Mason," the newscaster announced, horrifying Chad.
Maggie arrived home at the Kiriakis mansion and found Victor sitting alone in the living room. As she began telling her husband about the Salem Historical Society meeting she'd just attended, Maggie realized that Victor wasn't paying attention. Victor claimed he'd been thinking about the Titan board meeting, but Maggie guessed that he was worried about Caroline. Victor confessed that Caroline's stroke had really shaken him up. Maggie reassured him that the stroke had been mild, but she understood Victor's concern.
When Henderson sent Julie in without announcing her arrival, she accidentally interrupted the tender moment between Maggie and Victor. Victor used the interruption as an excuse to leave for his board meeting at the hospital. As Julie and Maggie looked over some old photographs and papers, Julie voiced her surprise that the Salem Historical Society had possessed so much information about a single house.
Julie regretted that her grandparents weren't alive to attend the bicentennial celebration -- but she was also glad they weren't around to see the trouble J.J. had gotten into. Maggie was optimistic that J.J. would exonerate himself. The women were excited about the big event, but they realized that November wasn't terribly far in the future.
Caroline slept fitfully in her hospital bed until Kayla entered the room with news that Caroline was about to be released. Caroline admitted that she was feeling nervous about that, though she didn't know why. Kayla offered to keep her mom in the hospital for another night, but Caroline insisted that keeping busy would be better for her health than sticking around there another minute. Kayla suggested that Caroline's feelings were residual anxiety from the frightening experience she'd just been through.
Kayla confessed that she was also feeling a bit anxious because she hadn't heard from Joey since he'd returned to school in Ohio a week earlier. Caroline urged her daughter not to worry, but Kayla pointed out that she and Joey had always been close, and it wasn't like him to be out of touch like that. Caroline suggested that Kayla get in touch with the school to check on Joey. A grateful Kayla kissed her mom and left.
Caroline was dozing -- and frowning in her sleep -- when Victor slipped quietly into her room a little later. Caroline blinked with surprise when she awakened and found Victor sitting at her bedside. He explained that he'd been at the hospital for a board meeting and had wanted to stop in and see Caroline, as well. Caroline admitted that she'd just had a horrible dream about Bo in which he had been alone in a dark and filthy place. She'd called Bo's name, but he hadn't heard her, and she had been unable to move, although she'd been able to tell that he'd been in terrible pain -- and it had all seemed very real.
Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, in what appeared to be a cell, an unidentified man lay on a bare, dirty concrete floor.
Near the nurses' station, Kayla called Joey's school, but someone there informed her that Joey had never shown up at school. "I most certainly did not send a letter explaining his absence!" Kayla insisted, alarmed. She ordered the school to get in touch with all of Joey's friends immediately to find out if any of them had heard from him. As an anxious Kayla hung up, she informed the school that her next call would be to her brother -- the police commissioner.
Just then, Joey got off the elevator. Kayla rushed over and hugged him, breathlessly asking where he'd been. A second later, Steve exited the elevator, as well. "Hello, Sweetness. It's been a while, huh?" Steve said.
As John was dropping off a case file for Hope at the police station, Roman questioned why John was leaving to work for the ISA. John confessed that being a cop had made him realize how much he'd missed working for the ISA. Roman reminded John how dangerous that work was and how worried and scared Marlena had been when John had worked there before. "You put that woman through a lot the last several years. Don't top it off by getting hurt or getting yourself killed," Roman warned.
Ben and Abigail strolled through Horton Square after a visit to the bookstore, where, according to Ben, Abigail had purchased almost every book written about pregnancy. Laughing, Abigail admitted that she just wanted to make sure she was doing everything right for their baby. Abigail got a text message from Maxine, informing Abigail that Serena Mason, with whom Abigail had been acquainted since they'd both worked at the hospital, had been murdered the previous night. Ben was stunned when Abigail relayed that news to him.
Clyde walked up just then and overheard what Ben and Abigail were discussing. Clyde revealed that he'd seen Serena "in a hell of an argument" with Chad DiMera the night before. Abigail maintained that Chad couldn't possibly have been responsible for Serena's death, especially since he hadn't even known Serena. Clyde asserted that Chad had clearly been trying to change that situation at the club -- but Chad had obviously taken things too far, because Serena had slapped him, and when she'd left, Chad had followed her.
When Ben learned that Chad and Serena had been drinking a lot, Ben pointed out that Chad was a DiMera and could have killed Serena if he'd been angry enough. Clyde agreed with Ben, but Abigail was adamant that Chad had never wanted to be like his father. Ben pointed out that Abigail knew better than most people about how badly Chad tended to treat women, but Abigail argued that Chad had never killed anyone. Before the conversation could become more heated, Abigail suggested they stop speculating about such a serious topic. She kissed Ben goodbye and left for work.
An obviously thrilled Ben beamed as he described what he'd learned from glancing at the books Abigail had bought. "You are in for quite an adventure," Clyde declared. When Marlena approached the Weston men and said hello, Ben headed out to do the grocery shopping, as he'd promised Abigail. Marlena apologized to Clyde for canceling their last therapy session, explaining that she'd had a family emergency. Clyde said that, during the session, he had intended to tell Marlena that he was discontinuing therapy because he felt much better, thanks to her.
A disappointed Marlena started to say she thought that she and Clyde had made a lot of progress, but Clyde interrupted. "I don't care what you think," he snapped. Softening his tone a little, Clyde said he was ready to face things on his own, and he felt he was a different man because of Dr. Evans. Marlena subtly expressed her skepticism that Clyde was "cured," hinting that his overconfidence had blinded him to reality. Clyde asserted that he could see things more clearly than he ever had before. Marlena's eyes narrowed as she watched Clyde leave.
A little later, John joined Marlena in the square. John was carrying a box of his belongings from his desk at the police station. He reiterated his promise not to let working for the ISA interfere with his relationship with Marlena. John added that he also planned to sell his interest in Basic Black, once he made sure that he and Brady were in agreement, in order to focus more completely on Marlena. "I'm just trying to find a way to make you believe that nothing comes before you in my life. How about if I asked you to marry me? Would that do the trick?" John inquired.
Taken aback, Marlena demanded, "Are you thinking that was a marriage proposal?" John assured her that it hadn't been. Marlena said it would take much more than a proposal to make her believe that John was "in it for the long haul," especially since they had already walked down the aisle together quite a few times. John asked what he could say to convince Marlena that being with her forever was what he wanted. "It's not what you say," Marlena replied. John kissed her to demonstrate that he knew what she'd meant.
In his room at the Salem Inn, Chad took a big swig of whiskey before sitting down to read a news article on his tablet. The article reported that Serena Mason had been found dead in Salem Park, near Horton Square. Chad didn't think he had followed Serena to the park, although he couldn't remember many other details after Serena had slapped him and left Club TBD -- and he had followed her to the square, where they'd gotten into an argument. Chad told himself that he'd better remember what had happened, because the cops would soon learn what had happened at the club.
A little later, Chad went into Club TBD and looked around. As fuzzy memories from the previous night returned to him, Chad slipped into a booth and tried to remember what had happened after Serena had departed and he had stumbled out after her.
In the park, as a cop zipped Serena's lifeless form into a body bag and took it away, Hope admitted to Rafe that she was glad the department had put a rush on his reinstatement so he could work the case with her. Rafe and Hope agreed that Serena's manner of death -- strangulation with a necktie -- suggested the murder had been personal. Hope said the first person she'd thought of when she'd heard about the killing had been Xander Cook, although he was still in jail.
Rafe wondered if Serena's earlier resistance to answering questions about Xander after the incident with Nicole and Eric had been because Serena were loyal to Xander or afraid of him. When Aiden showed up at the crime scene, Hope reluctantly informed him that she might have to cancel their date that night. Rafe assured Hope that he would cover for her. Aiden was grateful, since he had a surprise planned for Hope.
After a search of the area, Hope found a disposable coffee cup and sealed it in an evidence bag. Rafe grumbled that the weather had been too hot and dry to find any usable footprints at the scene. Rafe got a text message from forensics informing him that they'd tracked Serena's cell phone usage to the courthouse, the hospital, Horton Town Square, and Club TBD. Hope handed the coffee cup to Rafe and headed to the station to question Xander.
Alone in a corner booth at the Brady Pub, Aiden got a text message that read, "Meet me immediately. Take the usual precautions." With a sigh, Aiden rose to leave.
As Abigail arrived at the park, a few bystanders were snapping pictures with their cell phones while the police continued their investigation. She gaped in horror at the yellow crime scene tape until she heard Chad's voice behind her. Admitting that she'd heard a rumor, Abigail quietly asked Chad, "Is it true you might've been the last person to see Serena alive?"
Chad and Abigail headed to the benches outside Horton Square so they could talk with more privacy. Abigail said she'd heard about Chad and Serena from Clyde Weston -- who'd also revealed that Serena and Chad had fought. Abigail asked what Chad had done after Serena had left the club. Chad claimed that after Serena had left, he'd realized how drunk he was, so he'd gone to the Salem Inn and booked a room because Stefano had kicked him out of the DiMera mansion. A stunned Abigail guessed that Stefano had disowned Chad because he had tried to protect her from Stefano.
Chad pointed out that he'd disappointed his father by not toeing the line like his siblings. Abigail thanked Chad, asserting that his actions had been brave and selfless. Chad pointed out that he'd always claimed not to want to be a part of the DiMera family. "It's about time I put my money where my mouth is. Or his -- I don't have any anymore," Chad joked. Abigail assured Chad that he would do just fine on his own. She added that she was glad he was away from his father, because she believed Chad was nothing like Stefano.
The subject turned back to Serena, and Abigail asked why Chad and Serena had fought. Chad maintained that they had simply had too much to drink, plus Serena had already been upset when she'd arrived. A cop walked by before Chad could answer Abigail's question about why Serena had been upset. As Chad and Abigail went their separate ways, Chad stated with seeming sincerity that he was very happy for Abigail about the baby.
Rafe went to Club TBD and showed Serena's picture to the bartender, who said Serena and Chad had "put a dent in a bottle of Scotch" the night before. The bartender added that when his shift had ended, it had appeared as if Chad and Serena had been getting quite "chummy."
Hope met Roman in her office after she'd questioned Xander, who had seemed shocked when she'd told him about Serena's murder. Hope noted that no one had visited Xander, plus his phone had been confiscated. Roman and Hope agreed that it seemed unlikely that Xander had arranged a hit on Serena, but they were hopeful that the necktie would provide some evidence that would lead them to the killer.
Aiden entered the room, and Hope apologetically told him that she would probably have to cancel their date that evening. A dejected Aiden began, "Well, I guess I can cancel all my plans that I made..." Roman interrupted and told Hope to head out and let him and Rafe cover things -- as long as she returned early the next morning. Hope gratefully headed out with Aiden.
When Chad went to the DiMera mansion to pick up a few things, he assured Stefano, "Don't worry... Harold's going to send the rest. You'll never have to lay eyes on me again." Chad removed some keys from his key ring and set them on a table, promising to mail back the key to the main gate, which he hadn't been able to find. "It did not have to be this way, you know that? If you had only done as I asked...we could have both had what we wanted," Stefano pointed out irritably.
Chad argued that he would have had to swindle the woman he loved for a "stupid piece of land." Stefano maintained that the land would have ensured the family's fortune. Chad sarcastically countered that he was well aware that he'd betrayed Stefano and the rest of the family. "You have also broken my heart," Stefano declared, noting that he and Chad had gotten very close over the previous couple of years. Chad said it had seemed more like Stefano had been manipulating Chad to get what he'd wanted. Chad vowed to make a life for himself as far away from the "DiMera shadow" as possible.
Just then, Rafe entered the study. "Hey, guys! Harold said it would be okay if I came on up. Is it a bad time?" Rafe asked, holding up his badge. "Where'd you get that? A yard sale?" Chad quipped. Rafe explained that he'd been reinstated, and he thought, as one of his first official acts, that he and Chad should have a chat about Serena Mason.
Over a candlelit dinner, Hope and Aiden reminisced about their terrible first date. "We've come a long way from that night, huh?" Aiden said, taking Hope's hand as he continued, "And every day, I've fallen more and more in love with you. Hope, I never want that to end." Aiden opened the ring box and showed Hope the beautiful ring inside as he asked, "Hope, will you marry me?"