DAYS Recaps: The week of December 26, 2016 on Days of our Lives
Chad had to deal with Abigail's return. Deimos and Brady were out to prove that Nicole was the mother of Chloe's baby. Shane had news that Stefano might still be alive. Abigail asked Chad to ring in the New Year with her. J.J. learned that he had slept with Lani, and Gabi overhead them. Derrick forced Sonny and Paul to admit their feelings.
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Monday, December 26, 2016
by Mike

Stuck at work on Christmas Day, Rafe and J.J. shared a carton of eggnog during a break in an effort to add some festivity to their normal routine. J.J. was sorry to hear that Hope's appeal had been denied on Christmas Eve. Rafe was quick to change the subject, wondering how J.J.'s relationship with Gabi was going. J.J. reported that Gabi had ended things with him after figuring out that he was keeping another secret from her, even though he had tried to explain that it was a family secret he wasn't allowed to reveal. Rafe was taken aback when J.J. implied that Gabi had already moved on with Chad. "Surprised me, too," J.J. admitted with a sigh.

After several failed attempts to reach Chad on his cell phone, Gabi went to the DiMera mansion to see him. He explained that he had spent the night walking around Salem because he had needed time to himself to think about things. "There's something that you need to know. I just don't know how to tell you," she began. "Abigail's alive," he numbly concluded for her, just as Abigail joined them in the study.

"Found out last night," Chad continued as Gabi hugged Abigail, declaring that her return from the dead was a Christmas miracle. He then went to check on Thomas, who had just begun fussing in the nursery. Meanwhile, Abigail explained why she had chosen to fake her death months earlier. Gabi reported that losing Abigail had shattered Chad. "Well, thank goodness you were around to help him pick up the pieces," Abigail replied.

Abigail explained that she had recently seen Gabi and Chad kissing in the mansion. Despite knowing that she had no right to be upset, Abigail couldn't help wondering, "How long has that been going on, hmm? And how long did you guys wait?" Gabi realized that Abigail was the one who had told J.J. about the kiss. "Abigail, you were dead. I mean, how long was Chad supposed to wait? If we'd had any idea you were alive, this would've never happened," Gabi stressed. Abigail wondered if Gabi was sure about that.

Before Gabi could respond, Chad returned and told Abigail to stop, stressing, "I would have never looked at another woman if you [hadn't] made us all think that you were dead. This isn't Gabi's fault. If you want somebody to blame, blame yourself." Conceding the point, Abigail admitted that getting Chad to move on with someone else had, in fact, been the goal in the beginning. Gabi started to excuse herself, fearing that she might say the wrong thing if she stuck around any longer. She added that Chad and Abigail had a lot to talk about, anyway. Chad tried to object, but Gabi tearfully assured him, "It's okay. This is amazing. We have our Abby back."

J.J. arrived as Gabi was exiting the study. "This was the big secret? The one you were keeping from me?" she guessed. Abigail explained that she had begged J.J. not to tell anyone that she was alive, prompting Gabi to wonder how Dario had found out. "Wait, Dario knew, too?" Chad asked incredulously. As Abigail quietly confirmed the news, Chad angrily wondered if anyone else had learned the truth about his wife before he had. Meanwhile, Gabi agreed to go somewhere else with J.J. so they could talk privately. Before leaving, she gave Abigail another hug, tearfully declaring, "Seeing you is the best Christmas present."

After Gabi and J.J. left, Abigail turned to face Chad, who shook his head in disbelief as he muttered Dario's name again. She wondered where he had gone the previous night. He explained that he had gone for a walk to clear his head. He admitted that he was angry about what she had put him through but was also overjoyed to have her back in his life because he had thought he had lost her for good.

Abigail guessed that the range of conflicting emotions had to be confusing for Chad. "Confusing? It's tearing me apart!" he admitted. He wondered if he was supposed to just pick up where he had left off with her and pretend that the last few months had never happened. "I think we can get there," she said. "I'm glad you do. I'm not sure I can," he replied. He added, however, that there was a huge part of him that wanted to just take her in his arms, carry her upstairs to their bedroom, and never let her out of his sight again. She assured him that she knew it wasn't going to be that easy.

"Do you? Do you really -- do you really think you understand what it was like to live without you?" Chad wondered. Abigail stressed that she was sorry for what she had put him through. He believed her but insisted that things could have been much different if she had just allowed him to help her. She explained that she hadn't wanted to be a burden to him. "A burden? Do you know what a burden is, Abby? Mourning the loss of your wife; holding your crying son, knowing that he's gonna grow up without a mother -- that is a burden!" he countered. She started to respond, but he interrupted, adding, "We vowed to love each other in sickness and in health! That was my responsibility, not a burden, and I would have done it for you gladly! I would have stood by you, no matter what!"

"And what about now? Will you stand by me now?" Abigail asked as she approached Chad and put a hand on his chest. He stammered as he backed away from her, unsure of how to respond to her question. She admitted that J.J. had helped her realize that she had put Chad through the exact same thing Jack had put them through, and that was why she knew just how much pain she had truly caused him. "But, Chad, do you not -- we are supposed to be together! I mean, do you not see that? Can you -- can you not tell? I mean, I was getting ready to walk out of that [nursery], and I was never coming back, but somehow, something caused you to walk in there the exact moment that I was there. And you can call it fate, or destiny, or God -- whatever. I don't care; it doesn't matter. But what matters is...you found me," she continued.

Chad stressed that he loved Abigail and would do anything for her and Thomas. "But can I get through this? I don't know. I don't know when I'm gonna stop being mad at you, Abby. I don't -- I don't know if I can trust that you're not gonna run away every time something gets tough again," he added. Abigail wondered where that left things between her and Chad. Fighting back tears, he stroked her cheek as he replied, "All I know is that I don't want to let you walk out that door." He made it clear that although he was going to need some time to figure things out, he wanted her to stay at the mansion during that process. She happily agreed.

J.J. and Gabi went to a secluded section of the town square to continue their conversation. He stressed that he had hated hiding the truth about Abigail from her, and she agreed that Abigail had put everyone in a terrible situation. She added, however, that the whole experience had made her realize that she and J.J. weren't meant to be together. "How can you say that? We're great together!" he protested. "What we are is a lot of work," she countered. He assured her that he was willing to put in as much work as necessary, but she sadly admitted that she didn't feel the same way anymore.

"Did you realize this before or after you kissed my sister's husband?" J.J. asked. Gabi defensively argued that J.J. had no right to criticize her actions after what he had done. He clarified that he wasn't upset about the kiss itself; he was just upset that Chad was pulling her away. "You have feelings for him. I know you do," he insisted. She countered that if that were true, it was only because Chad was open and honest with her in a way J.J. never had been. J.J. promised that he would never lie to her again. "We can work this out. Now that Abigail's back, everything can go back to the way it was," he added.

"No. It's never gonna be the way it was, J.J. We're -- we're just not in sync anymore, and I don't think we're ever gonna be," Gabi replied, prompting J.J. to wonder if she felt more in sync with Chad. She tried to dodge the question, insisting that she didn't want to talk about Chad anymore. "Of course you don't want to talk about him. He just got his wife back!" J.J. pointed out. He guessed that Gabi was going to try to steal Chad away from Abigail. "I don't know what the future holds for Abigail and Chad. But -- but what I do know is that you and I don't have a future," Gabi replied before walking away.

Steve, Kayla, Joey, and Jade spent part of Christmas Day at Club TBD, feeding the homeless. Afterward, Claire and Ciara, who had also volunteered their services, found Joey and Jade outside, collecting chairs. Jade soon excused herself, explaining, "I have to go to the bathroom. You know how it is when you're pregnant." Once the coast was clear, Ciara and Claire began complaining about the comment, pointing out that Jade was the only member of the group who knew what it was like to be pregnant. "Joey, what are you gonna do with this child-woman?" Ciara demanded to know.

"Oh, so Jade's a 'child-woman,' and you two are...what, totally mature women of the world?" Joey countered. Claire complained that he was dodging the question. "Because it was a really stupid one!" he replied. Ciara and Claire disagreed, insisting that it was important to know what he planned to do about Jade after the baby was born.

Meanwhile, Jade returned from the bathroom. When she realized what was being discussed, she lingered in the doorway of the club so she could eavesdrop. Joey refused to answer Ciara and Claire's questions, prompting them to conclude that he planned to marry Jade. He clarified that he simply didn't feel like talking to them about things that were none of their business. They complained that he needed to open up to them so they could offer him advice. "Of course, you wouldn't listen, 'cause you're a total advice-hole!" Claire added.

Jade chose that moment to reveal herself, emerging from the club and asking if Claire had ever thought about using real words for a change. "Excuse me, Jade, but that is a real word," Claire insisted, explaining that it referred to a person's unwillingness to accept solid advice when needed. "And would that advice Joey won't take, by any chance, be to dump me?" Jade guessed. Ciara and Claire implied that Joey couldn't do that because Jade had found a way to trap him into maintaining a relationship with her. Jade countered that Joey was free to do whatever he wanted to do. "That includes dumping me. And if that's what he decides to do, then I'll raise this kid on my own, and all of you can go to hell!" she added before storming back into the club.

Jade apologized to Steve and Kayla when she realized that she had just interrupted a private moment between them. They ended their kiss and assured her that they didn't mind. When they realized that she was upset about something, they wondered if she wanted to talk about it. "It's just some stuff the girls said. You know, Joey's bodyguards. They don't approve of me. Big surprise. They actually hate me," Jade explained, adding that Claire and Ciara believed that she was using the baby to trap Joey. "It's not true! Joey and I were in love, and this...happened. It was an accident!" she insisted.

Kayla pointed out that Joey was family to Claire and Ciara. "You've seen a little bit about how the Bradys work -- the upside -- but the downside is that everybody's all involved in everybody's life. And that's probably not necessarily a good thing, but it really is out of love and being incredibly loyal," she continued. Steve admitted that it had been hard for him to get used to the way the Bradys operated at first because he hadn't had much of a family himself. "But having the Bradys on your side -- you'll find out, there's nothing like it," he assured Jade.

Meanwhile, Joey, Ciara, and Claire entered the club. Ciara started to apologize to Jade, admitting that casting judgment on her had been inappropriate. "The main thing is that we're gonna be there for you -- and for the baby," Ciara added. "Well, I mean, the baby, for sure," Claire agreed. Joey started to admonish Claire, but Jade assured him that she understood. "While it's cool to be part of the Bradys, I'm not part of that, so why would you be there for me?" she reasoned. Ciara tried to object, but Jade told her not to bother. "I'm just gonna have to get used to all this family attention -- the good and the bad," she conceded.

With the topic of family already on the table, Ciara announced that she wanted to go to St. Luke's at some point that day so she could pray for Hope. "I went to see her this morning with Shawn, and I'm really worried about her," she explained. Steve wondered if something had happened to spark the concern. Ciara clarified that she just had a feeling that something was going on. "She acts like everything's fine, but if it weren't, would she tell me?" she wondered. "Probably not," Steve guessed.

Meanwhile, Claire received a phone call from Theo. When she stepped aside to answer it, Ciara overheard her telling Theo that the three of them were going to be sharing an off-campus apartment together the following semester. After Claire ended the call, Ciara admitted that when she had agreed to get an apartment with Claire, she hadn't realized that Theo was going to be living there, too. "Oh, sorry, I guess I just forgot to mention it. That's cool with you, though, right?" Claire asked. "Yeah. Yeah, sure," Ciara hesitantly replied, forcing a smile.

When the group was ready to head over to St. Luke's, Jade offered to make herself scarce, and Claire happily encouraged the idea. Joey tried to object, but Jade insisted that it would be best for her to leave. Joey scowled at Claire -- and Ciara, who hadn't bothered to back him up -- then chased after Jade and tried to talk her into joining him at St. Luke's. She said she knew that it was important for him to go there to pray for Hope -- and that even just talking about Hope's situation was upsetting for him.

Nodding, Joey admitted that he thought of the baby he was going to have with Jade as a fresh start. "I couldn't live with myself after what I did to Ava, but there's something -- there's something so balanced about a new life. Not that anything makes what I did to Ava okay, but it's just...where there's life, there's hope, right?" he mused, and Jade agreed. He stressed that things would never work out for him and Jade unless she found a way to live with his family, since they were part of the deal, whether she liked it or not. "I don't know how this is all gonna fall into place, but it will. Bradys believe in miracles, especially this time of year. So let's go to church...and hope that something good will happen," he suggested. "I'd like that," she replied with a smile.

At the prison, Hope saved Annabelle from another encounter with Coco and Sheila. After Annabelle left the room, Coco and Sheila started to go after Hope to teach her a lesson about interfering in their business, but Chillie soon interrupted and chased them off, reminding them that Hope was off-limits to them. When Hope thanked Chillie for the help, Chillie explained that Annabelle was the one who really deserved Hope's gratitude, since she wouldn't have known that Hope had been in danger if Annabelle hadn't tracked her down to warn her. Chillie then excused herself so she could get back to the prison's Christmas pageant in time for her solo.

Later, Hope found Chillie sitting alone in the recreation room, staring at something on the computer. Hope tried to start a conversation, but when Chillie didn't respond, she took a closer look and was horrified to discover that a knife was embedded in Chillie's chest. She alerted a guard, and when Annabelle joined her in the recreation room a short time later, Hope did her best to keep the less experienced inmate calm. "You know what [this] means," Annabelle worriedly told Hope, who shushed her, knowing that Coco and Sheila were watching them from the hallway.

When Rafe entered Club TBD in search of Dario and learned that Steve, Kayla, Ciara, and Claire were planning to head to St. Luke's to pray for Hope, he happily agreed to tag along. As they were getting ready to leave, Shane arrived and announced that he needed to talk to Steve and Rafe privately. Claire and Ciara left, but Kayla insisted on staying to hear Shane's news. "It's Stefano. Seems like the old son of a bitch might still be alive," he revealed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

At the hospital, Deimos informed Brady that he had made arrangements with a lab to do a DNA test on Chloe's baby. Brady worried about getting Nicole's hopes up, but Deimos said he would not say anything to Nicole until he had concrete evidence. Grinning, Deimos pointed out that Nicole was already mothering baby Holly.

Brady cautioned Deimos to remember that Nicole was likely overcompensating for the fact that Chloe was not able to hold the baby. Brady refused to think about the parentage of the baby until there was evidence. Deimos said it would not be easy to test the baby because Nicole would not set the little girl down.

In Chloe's room, Nicole fed baby Holly while Chloe lay unconscious in her bed. Fighting tears, Nicole begged Chloe to wake up because Holly needed her mother. "I knew when I first saw you, you had my heart. And now I can't get enough of you, and it's like my arms won't let me let go of you," Nicole said to Holly.

"If she could feel half of what I feel when I hold you," Nicole lamented about Chloe. Nicole told Holly that she believed that Chloe would wake soon, and she promised that she would look after Holly as if she were her own daughter. Nicole thought about when Holly had been born. Shaken by the memory of Chloe's fainting, Nicole placed the baby in her crib as Brady entered the room. Nicole confided that she had talked to Chloe in the hotel before Holly had been born. When Brady asked about the baby's father, Nicole shook her head no.

Nicole admitted that when she had mentioned Deimos, Chloe had closed up and had grown defensive. With a shrug, Nicole said she and Chloe had agreed to disagree about Deimos. Brady turned to look at the baby. With a sad smile, Nicole said she hoped that Chloe did not mind that Nicole had named her. Nicole added that Chloe had asked her to name the baby. Overwhelmed by emotions, Nicole broke down in tears, and Brady hugged her.

After collecting herself, Nicole confided that holding Holly had felt like the first time she had held Sydney. Brady told Nicole that no one deserved to be a mother more than her. Shaking her head, Nicole said that motherhood was not meant to be for her. Nicole said that she was grateful that she had carried her children, even for a short time.

"Even today, they're still in my heart. I've accepted that I can't have a child of my own, that it's not in the cards, which is why I'm so surprised that this one is getting to me," Nicole said. Nicole said she felt an invisible pull to baby Holly. When Nicole said she would have a hard time letting go of Holly when Chloe woke up, Brady said, "Maybe you don't have to."

Nicole's jaw dropped open, and she warned Brady not to give up on Chloe. Brady started to explain what he meant, but Deimos walked in. Deimos urged Nicole to go on a walk with him, but Nicole refused. Brady offered to watch the baby, but an angry Nicole said she would not leave Chloe. Nicole asked Deimos to leave, noting that Chloe would not want Deimos in her room. Deimos agreed. As Brady started to leave with Deimos, Nicole stopped Brady to ask him what he meant about staying with Holly. Brady lied and said that he'd meant that Chloe's recovery could take some time.

After Brady left Nicole, he thought about when Nicole had lost her first baby. Deimos went to check with the lab about a sample of the baby's blood, but the lab had closed for the night. Deimos updated Brady, and he noted that they would have to invent a reason to force Nicole out of Chloe's room.

Deimos and Brady returned to Chloe's room with a bag of food for Nicole. Feeding the baby a bottle, Nicole said she would eat later. Deimos said that a nurse needed to talk to Nicole about some information for Chloe's paperwork. With a shrug, Nicole asked Brady to handle the nurse, since he had been married to Chloe. Shifting his eyes pleadingly at Deimos, Brady countered that he had a terrible memory and had not been close to Chloe for many years.

Deimos said that the information was needed urgently because it could help the doctors with Chloe's condition. Sighing, Nicole placed Holly in her crib. Nicole asked Brady to watch Holly, and she asked Deimos to leave if Chloe woke up. Deimos eagerly agreed. After Nicole left, Deimos reached in his pocket for a DNA swab. When Deimos attempted to swab the baby's mouth, Nancy walked in. Deimos hid the swab. Nancy said she was there to take custody of the baby.

Shawn visited Hope at the prison and updated her on the family. As Hope's eyes shifted about the room, Shawn asked what was wrong. Hope reluctantly admitted that things were not going well. Hope told Shawn that the woman protecting her had been murdered. Hope explained the circumstantial evidence, but she noted she had not reported any information to the guards. With a sigh, Hope blamed herself for Chillie's death. Shawn wanted to talk to the warden about security, but Hope told him no. Frustrated, Shawn did not want to let the matter go.

At Club TBD, Shane informed Steve, Kayla, and Rafe that Hope was innocent of murder because Stefano was alive. Shane explained that agents had reports of sightings of Stefano in Europe. Marlena and Roman joined the group, and Shane informed them about the Stefano news. Marlena, Roman, and Rafe were reluctant to believe the reports. Shane was confident in the veracity of the information. Shane pulled a surveillance photo out of his pocket that looked remarkably like Stefano.

Steve, Kayla, Marlena, Roman, Rafe, and Shane looked at the photo and discussed the poor quality of the photo. Rafe and Roman were not convinced. Shane argued that if there was a possibility that Stefano was alive, they should investigate the matter. Shaking his head no, Rafe countered that even if Stefano had survived the shooting, he had stage four colon cancer and should be dead already. Kayla noted that Stefano could have been in remission.

After Shawn left the prison, he met with Rafe, Steve, and Marlena at the police station. Rafe updated Shawn on the new Stefano information. Shawn said he had examined the body, and the DNA had conclusively proven that Stefano had been killed. When Steve asked about the chain of custody of the DNA evidence, Shawn gritted his teeth and noted that he had handed the DNA sample to the lab technicians. Everyone agreed to keep the Stefano information secret from Hope.

Shawn said he was eager to get his mother out of prison because things were looking grim there. When Rafe asked what had happened, Shawn explained that someone had murdered Chillie. Alarmed, Marlena said they needed to get Hope out of prison immediately. After Marlena called John to tell him about Stefano, she returned to talk to Kayla and Steve. Steve promised to have his revenge on Stefano if he was still alive.

In the prison recreation room, Sheila warned Hope that anything could happen in prison. With a cold smile, Sheila suggested that Hope back off. Hope said that she would protect the other women at the prison. Scoffing, Sheila told Hope that she had been warned. After Sheila left, Annabelle scurried into the recreation room to ask Hope if she had found evidence that Coco and Sheila had murdered Chillie. Shaking her head no, Hope said she did not want to start a war without proof.

Sliding a list of inmates to Annabelle, Hope asked her to help recruit inmates to their side. Nodding, Annabelle took the list and ran off. When Annabelle and Hope met up in the recreation room later, they compared notes on the women. As Hope flipped through her notepad, she found a death card from a tarot deck. Annabelle panicked, but Hope said they would be fine.

Andre met with Kate at the Brady Pub to discuss missing money at DiMera Enterprises. Andre was offended that Kate had accused him of stealing money from his family. With pursed lips, Kate reminded Andre that he was no stranger to moral lapses. Andre asked about the missing microchips. When Kate asked again about the money, Andre denied the charge. Kate added that she wondered about what other secrets Andre had been keeping from her and Chad.

Andre swore on his father's name that he had not taken any money from the DiMera accounts. With a nod, Kate said she wanted to believe Andre. Kate added that although she believed that Andre wanted to change, she did not believe he was immune from breaking the rules. Andre suggested that the thieves that had taken the microchips might also be responsible for the theft of the money. Sighing, Kate agreed.

Rafe called Andre and asked him to meet at the police station. Andre arrived with Kate. Rafe told Andre that the police needed to exhume Stefano's body. Andre looked at Kate, dumbfounded.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
by Mike

While Joey was working at the Brady Pub, he asked Caroline to make a sandwich and a batch of sweet potatoes for Jade, who was hanging out with him there. Jade loved the sweet potatoes, which, according to Joey, had been made using a secret family recipe that included maple syrup and vanilla beans. "[They] were, like, my favorite thing when I would stay home sick from school -- even though most of the time I wasn't really sick; I was just hungry. No matter how busy my mom was, she would always find the time to whip me up a batch," he explained.

Joey was sorry to hear that Jade had barely been able to get a bowl of cold cereal and milk out of her mother most of the time. "It's okay. I wasn't looking for sympathy; I just... Mood swings. One of the many perks of being pregnant," she explained with a sigh. He wished he could endure the worst parts of the pregnancy himself so she wouldn't have to. She didn't think he really meant that, but she promised that when she was pushing a ten-pound baby out of her body, she would try to remember those words.

"Ten pounds?" Joey asked incredulously. "Well, if you keep feeding me these sweet potatoes..." Jade replied with a wink. She thought she was already an exception to the rule about pregnant women glowing, but he assured her that she looked beautiful. He offered to get her some dessert, but she declined, fearing that she would explode if she ate anything else. "Mm. Don't want that to happen -- at least not on my shift," he joked before excusing himself so he could get back to work.

Jade's father, Hal, soon stormed into the pub and accused her of stealing money from his house. She denied the accusation, but he wasn't convinced. He seized her backpack and rummaged through it until he found an envelope that contained some cash and a family photograph. She insisted that she had been planning to pay him back eventually, but he didn't believe her. "You know, I knew you would never amount to nothing. You're just a deadbeat freeloader!" he spat.

Joey, who had been defending Jade from the start, told Hal to leave, but Hal refused, insisting that he wanted an apology first. "You're the one who should be apologizing. She's your daughter!" Joey pointed out. "Unfortunately," Hal conceded. Joey reminded Hal that Jade was pregnant and didn't need any extra stress. Hal dismissively countered that Jade shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place. He added, however, that it had been bound to happen sooner or later, since Jade was "just a straight-up slut."

"Go to hell," Joey said through gritted teeth as he glared at Hal. Laughing, Hal mused that Joey and Jade needed to be featured on a reality show about babies having babies, and he predicted that they wouldn't be able to handle the pressures of parenthood. Joey vowed that he would never abandon his child -- or Jade, who was going to be a great mother. "Good luck with that! She couldn't even take care of her pet hermit crab!" Hal warned Joey, recalling that the pet had died within two weeks of being placed in Jade's care.

Joey again asked Hal to leave, but Hal still wanted an apology from Jade first. Joey stood his ground, warning Hal, "In case you didn't read the sign, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, so unless you want me to call my uncle at the police station, I suggest you leave -- now." After weighing his options, Hal removed the cash from the envelope and threw the photograph back at Jade, telling her that she could keep it because it meant nothing to him. She stared at it sadly as Hal stormed back out of the pub.

Jade felt embarrassed about what had just happened, but Joey insisted that she had nothing to be embarrassed about. He wished she had felt comfortable enough to ask him for money instead of trying to borrow it from her father. She explained that she hadn't wanted to be a burden to Joey, who wasn't exactly "making bank" at the pub. He assured her that she wasn't a burden. He added that he had been thinking of dropping out of college so he could work at the pub full-time, but she insisted that he couldn't do that. She promised that she would get a job herself as soon as her frequent bouts of nausea subsided, and she would keep that job until after the baby was born, at which point she would transition to being a stay-at-home mother so they wouldn't have to pay for childcare.

"You're really excited about all of this, aren't you?" Joey observed. Nodding, Jade admitted that she had often worked as a babysitter when she had been younger, and she had been the kind of hands-on babysitter who had actually played with the kids instead of sending them to bed early so she could spend the whole time talking on the phone and watching television. She wondered if he really believed that she was going to be a good mother. "I think the word I used was 'great' -- and yeah, I do," he confirmed. Smiling, she predicted that he would be a fantastic father.

Joey voiced regrets about how he had treated Jade when he had first learned that she was pregnant, but she urged him not to feel guilty about that, conceding that he'd had every right to be upset with her because he had believed that she had been taking precautions to prevent such a thing from happening. He admitted that when he had first agreed to step up and do the right thing for her and the baby, he had done so out of a sense of obligation. "[But] now, I feel like I really want it -- like I have a -- a purpose. And a plan. I actually can't wait to be a dad," he continued, smiling as he grasped her hand.

At the hospital, Deimos discreetly pocketed the DNA test kit as Nancy explained that she had managed to book a last-minute flight during the holidays thanks to a sympathetic ticket agent. She then turned her attention to Holly, smiling as she introduced herself to the baby as Grandma Nancy. It didn't take long for her to start complaining again about Deimos' presence, but Nicole soon returned and interrupted the confrontation. After greeting Nicole with a hug, Nancy introduced the group to a social worker who would be helping her gain temporary custody of Holly.

Brady didn't think it would be a good idea for Nancy to take the baby back to New York so soon after its birth, but she clarified that she was going to be staying at the Salem Inn for the time being. "Besides, hospitals are a breeding ground for germs," she added. Deimos argued that it was presumptuous of her to declare herself Holly's legal guardian, but the social worker explained that it was standard protocol for a child to go to its closest relative if its mother couldn't care for it and had failed to leave instructions on how the issue of temporary custody should be handled.

Nicole admitted that she was going to miss Holly. Hearing the name for the first time, Nancy decided that it was perfect because the child was a Christmas miracle. She was surprised to learn that Chloe had asked Nicole to choose the name, but she forced a smile and agreed when Nicole guessed that Chloe had only done that as a way of showing appreciation for everything Nicole had done to help Holly enter the world. Nicole offered to help look after Holly, but Nancy quickly declined, insisting that wouldn't be necessary.

Later, while Nancy was spending some time alone with Chloe and Holly, Deimos and Brady joined Nicole in the waiting area and tried to comfort her. "You know, maybe [this is] for the best. Maybe it's my conscience telling me not to attach myself to another child," she suggested, but Brady insisted that she was overthinking the situation. She conceded that he was probably right but admitted that she had felt an instant connection to Holly for some reason. Musing that Holly looked a lot like Parker had when he had been a newborn, she decided that her long-held belief that Parker had gotten most of his features from Daniel had obviously been wrong.

After Nicole went to wash her face, Deimos and Brady agreed that all signs still seemed to be pointing to Nicole and Daniel as Holly's true biological parents. They also agreed, based on Nancy's shifty behavior, that Chloe had shared the secret with her at some point. Brady didn't understand why Nancy -- who had, for the most part, always been a decent person -- would want to keep such a thing from Nicole, but Deimos wasn't the least bit surprised, guessing that Nancy, like Chloe, really just wanted to keep the baby away from him.

Meanwhile, in Chloe's room, Nancy tearfully admitted that she felt horrible about keeping the truth from Nicole but didn't know what else to do. She begged Chloe to wake up or at least squeeze her hand to confirm that it would be okay to tell Nicole everything, but Chloe remained unresponsive. Later, while Nancy was wrapping up a phone conversation with Craig and Parker, Brady entered the room, hoping that because he had always had a close relationship with Nancy, he might be able to coax her into opening up to him about Holly's father. She seemed to be considering the idea but ultimately claimed that she didn't know who the man was.

At the police station, Andre and Kate were shocked to hear the theory of Stefano's latest rise from the ashes. Andre refused to believe it, insisting that Stefano would have reached out to him if possible, and Kate also expressed skepticism. "You people put me behind bars so that your precious Hope could escape punishment for the murder of my father, and now that the tables have turned, you're coming to me for help? Not on your bloody life!" he spat. Shaking his head in disbelief, he added that it was ironic that the group was willing to go to such lengths to protect one of their own yet firmly believed that the DiMeras were the corrupt ones.

Kate suddenly realized that if Stefano truly was alive, that would explain the discrepancies she had recently discovered in DiMera Enterprises' European accounts. Rafe wanted access to those records, but Andre insisted that neither he nor Kate could authorize such a thing. He told Rafe to take the request to Chad, but Steve explained that Chad hadn't been answering their calls, prompting Kate to admit that she hadn't been able to reach Chad lately, either. Rafe knew Chad would grant permission to exhume Stefano's grave sooner or later, so he urged Andre to go ahead and expedite the process.

"Let me get this straight: you have imprisoned, thus far, three people, including myself, for a crime that you're now trying to say might not have occurred. Is that correct? Well, if the Salem P.D. wants to [admit] its wrongdoing for the fourth time, who am I to stand in its way?" Andre mused with a chuckle, admitting that he would relish the opportunity to prove the police wrong yet again. While Rafe was getting the process started, Steve, Kayla, and Marlena waited in one of the conference rooms. Kayla didn't know whether to hope that Stefano would soon be proven alive or dead, since the former result would free Hope, but the latter result would confirm that they would never have to worry about him again. "It's a win-win," Steve said with a shrug. "Or a lose-lose," Kayla worriedly countered.

Meanwhile, in another room, Kate asked Andre why he had been so quick to dismiss the theory that Stefano, who had risen from the ashes countless times before, might have managed to do so yet again. Andre reiterated that Stefano would have reached out to him if possible, but Kate gently pointed out that Stefano had never been known to share everything with anyone. She wondered if Andre thought that Stefano might have chosen to reach out to Chad instead. "No, I don't," he replied, but she suspected that might just be wishful thinking.

"I know this has been difficult for you. I know that you had expectations, but then your father handed over the company to Chad. He let you down, Andre," Kate noted. Andre conceded the point but predicted with a laugh that Stefano would have regretted that decision the moment Chad had decided to let Kate join DiMera Enterprises. He suggested to Kate that they both had good reasons to pray that Stefano truly was dead for good, but she dismissively insisted that she wasn't afraid of Stefano. "We have butted heads with [him] countless times, and look who's still standing," she pointed out.

After receiving a phone call from Brady, Marlena took a break from the police station so she could meet with him at the hospital. He shared his theory about Holly and asked for Marlena's advice on the matter. "Well, since you're not sure, I think you should wait, because if you tell Nicole, and you're wrong... There's only so much heartbreak a person can take in their lifetime, and I think she has hit her limit," she replied. He agreed and vowed to figure out the truth before taking any further action.

Later, Brady and Deimos watched helplessly as Nicole said a tearful goodbye to Holly. Nancy pointed out that Nicole could visit Holly anytime because it wasn't like they were going to be thousands of miles away from each other. As Nancy was leaving with Holly and the social worker, Deimos stopped her. He seemed to be considering the idea of confronting her about Holly's true parentage, but he changed his mind and instead stressed that he would do everything in his power to help Chloe recover, including flying in the best specialists in the world. "Deimos, my husband was chief of staff at this hospital. Top specialists -- they're personal friends of ours. We will not be needing your help -- not now; not ever," Nancy dismissively replied before walking away.

Nicole thanked Deimos for at least trying to help. She then excused herself so she could check on Chloe. Once the coast was clear, Deimos admitted to Brady that he was beginning to reconsider their decision to keep their theory to themselves for the time being. Brady assured Deimos that he had sought Marlena's advice on the matter, and she had confirmed that it would be best to get definitive proof before saying anything to Nicole. "And how the hell are we gonna accomplish that now that Nancy has the baby?" Deimos fretted.

Shortly after Marlena rejoined the others who were waiting at the police station for news about the exhumation of Stefano's grave, Rafe returned and reported, "The body in that grave is not Stefano DiMera."

Thursday, December 29, 2016
by Mike

At the Horton house, J.J. informed Jennifer that Chad had seen Abigail on Christmas Eve. Jennifer assumed that meant Chad and Abigail were back together and were going to live happily ever after. J.J. tried to warn Jennifer that things weren't going to be that simple, but she refused to listen, excitedly insisting that the fast-approaching new year was going to be the best one ever.

At the DiMera mansion, Chad was in the study, trying to get some work done. As he was pounding the keys on his laptop in frustration, Abigail joined him and started to play a song she had found while searching an old playlist for some music that would help Thomas fall asleep. Recalling how happy she and Chad had been the last time they had danced to the song, she assured him that they could be that happy together again. She asked him to dance with her, and when he didn't agree right away, she seductively approached him and dragged him out of his chair. He tentatively wrapped his arms around her as they began to sway to the music, but when she tried to kiss him, he pulled away, insisting, "I'm sorry. I can't. I can't."

Abigail turned off the music and apologized, acknowledging that she had pushed too hard. She added, however, that it was important for her and Chad to try to get back to being a normal couple. She suggested that they could start later that night, celebrating New Year's Eve with Champagne and party hats, but he scoffed at the idea, insisting that it wasn't going to be that simple to fix everything.

Chad told Abigail to quit lying to herself and accept the fact that things had changed between them as a result of everything that had happened in the past few months. She conceded that she had gotten into the habit of lying to herself lately, especially about Chad and Thomas. She explained that she had convinced herself that they would be better off without her, but she had recently realized that was just a lie she had told herself in an effort to cope with her fear of loving them more than they loved her. She maintained that fate had put them back together and had shown her that she belonged with them. She vowed that she would never leave them again.

Chad admitted that he found it overwhelming to think about how many people had lied to him over the past few months -- and how many things they had lied to him about. "And if there's one thing that I've learned, as a DiMera and as a man, it is [that] once that trust is broken, it is nearly impossible... And it's like you want me to forget the last six months ever happened, and I don't think that's possible," he continued.

Abigail insisted that she wasn't asking Chad to just forget about everything that had happened; she was simply trying to get him to understand that she had never intended to hurt him. She vowed to patiently wait for him to start trusting that she had gotten better over the past few months and would never leave him and Thomas again. "I don't know what you want me to say. I don't know what I'm gonna feel, or when I'm gonna feel it," he hesitantly replied. She wondered if his hesitation had anything to do with his feelings for Gabi. "Do you still love her?" she asked, fighting back tears.

Before Chad could respond, Jennifer burst into the study and greeted Abigail with a hug. When Jennifer mentioned that she was glad Abigail had decided to reveal herself to Chad despite her fears about facing him, Chad somewhat bitterly clarified that things hadn't exactly happened that way. Nodding, Abigail admitted that she hadn't revealed herself to Chad; in fact, she'd had every intention of leaving Salem without saying anything to him, but he had stumbled upon her while she had been trying to say goodbye to Thomas.

Laughing dismissively, Jennifer insisted, "But does that really matter? I mean, what matters is [that] you're here, and you're gonna be a family again!" Chad warned Jennifer not to get ahead of herself, adding that he and Abigail still had a lot to work through and discuss. Abigail abruptly excused herself so she could get some air, muttering that she and Chad had already discussed enough for the time being. Jennifer offered to tag along, but Abigail insisted that she needed to be alone for a while.

"Can you tell me why you're pushing her away?" Jennifer asked Chad after Abigail left the room. He clarified that he wasn't trying to push Abigail away; he simply couldn't turn off his feelings about the situation. "She broke my trust," he pointed out. Jennifer insisted that Abigail couldn't be held responsible for decisions she had made while mentally ill, prompting Chad to counter that Jennifer and J.J. had also lied to him and couldn't use the same excuse. Jennifer unapologetically explained that she had agreed to go along with Abigail's deception because she had been worried that forcing Abigail's hand would cause her to run away again. "Yeah, and I'm scared that that's still gonna be a possibility," Chad admitted.

Jennifer stressed that every mistake Abigail had made had stemmed from a place of love. Chad agreed but maintained that he couldn't just pick up where he had left off with Abigail and pretend that the ordeals of the previous few months had never happened. Nodding, Jennifer abruptly excused herself, promising that she would be praying for the couple to work things out. Once the coast was clear, Chad returned to his desk, ready to get back to work. When he opened a drawer to look for something, he found the cuff links Gabi had given him for Christmas. He smiled as he recalled their exchange of gifts then he tossed the cuff links back in the drawer with a heavy sigh.

At Club TBD, Gabi told Dario about the way in which Chad had discovered the truth about Abigail on Christmas Eve. Dario assumed that Chad and Abigail were back together again, but Gabi clarified that she wasn't sure if that was the case because Chad had seemed very angry about Abigail's deception. Dario reported that Abigail had expressed concerns about that possibility during their conversations, and that was why she had been hesitant to reveal herself to Chad. Dario observed that it seemed like Gabi was upset with Abigail, too. Gabi admitted that she wasn't sure how she felt about the situation. "Abigail was my best friend, but I also saw what she put Chad through. I saw, up close and personal, what she did to him," she explained.

"Yeah, and she saw, up close and personal, you trying to comfort him," Dario countered. Gabi defensively insisted that she and Chad had nothing to feel guilty about because they had been made to believe that Abigail had died. Dario conceded the point but reminded Gabi that she and Chad could no longer use that excuse. "[So] what are you gonna do now?" he wondered, eager to know if she planned to continue pursuing Chad. She objected to the implication that she had been pursuing Chad in the first place but assured Dario that she was going to respect the fact that Chad was back to being a married man. Dario admitted that he was suddenly quite glad that Chad had exchanged vows with Abigail before her disappearance.

Dario wondered what had attracted Gabi to Chad in the first place. "Was it the money?" he guessed. Offended, Gabi observed that Dario clearly had a low opinion of her. "No, I have a low opinion of him," he clarified. She insisted that it was unfair of Dario to judge Chad, who was trying to be a decent guy, despite the fact that he hailed from a family that was even more messed up than the Hernandez clan was. "You know, you should contact the Pope [and] put him up for sainthood," Dario dismissively suggested.

Annoyed, Gabi started to excuse herself, but Dario forged ahead, pointing out, "Quick review: Will, the gay father of your kid; Nick, your sociopathic husband; and J.J. 'Can't Keep It In His Pants' Deveraux. Am I really out of line [for] questioning your vetting process when it comes to men?" Sighing, Gabi started to concede that she had made mistakes in the past, but Dario interrupted and continued, "Let's cut to the chase, okay? The fact that Abigail is still in the picture, the fact that Chad is still married -- it doesn't mean anything, 'cause you're still hung up on him."

Gabi pointed out that Dario could have told her the truth about Abigail sooner if he had truly wanted to put a stop to her developing relationship with Chad, prompting Dario to protest that he had been trying to do the right thing for a change. He proceeded to describe the scary panic attacks that Abigail had been experiencing due to her fears about revealing herself to Chad. Gabi argued that the panic attacks should have been a clear indication that Abigail needed help, but Dario explained that Abigail had begged him not to say anything to anyone about her return. He conceded that it might have been wrong of him to listen to the demands of a woman with a history of mental illness. He stressed, however, that Gabi was -- and had always been -- his main concern, adding, "I love you, okay? And I'm sick and tired of seeing you get hurt by men who don't deserve you!"

Later, Gabi ran into J.J. in the town square. He asked for a minute of her time, and although she didn't think they had anything left to discuss, she agreed to hear him out. He shared his belief that Chad and Abigail would eventually work things out. He hoped that Gabi would refrain from interfering with that process, fretting that Abigail was hanging on by a thread and that having to fight for Chad's affections could send her over the edge.

Gabi stressed that she cared about Abigail and wanted her to keep getting better. She added, however, that she was concerned that Abigail could end up hurting Chad again sooner or later. "You don't want to see Chad get hurt. I get that. Do you get [that] I don't want to see you get hurt, either? Because I know how much I hurt you. And I don't expect anything, but I want you to know...I still love you," J.J. admitted.

After J.J. walked away, Gabi started to leave the town square, passing Abigail's memorial site on the way to the exit. She found Abigail there, in the midst of another panic attack.

Elsewhere, Eduardo sneaked up behind Kate and wondered if she was contemplating her New Year's Eve resolutions. She jumped and warned him never to sneak up on her again. "[And] resolutions are for people with low self-esteem," she added. He took a seat next to her and guessed that she wasn't in the best of moods. She confirmed the suspicion then apologized for snapping at him. He, in turn, apologized for making her snap.

Changing the subject, Eduardo told Kate that he was looking forward to seeing her in a funny hat during the New Year's Eve festivities later that night. She admitted that she wasn't sure she was in the mood for funny hats -- or that she was going to be fun company, period. He wondered if she wanted to talk about what was bothering her. "I think that I'm angry with myself for overreacting, you know? As many times as Stefano has come back to life, you would think I would just take it in stride," she mused.

Eduardo was surprised to hear that Stefano was still alive. "That man pretends to be dead like other men pretend to care what women think. Although it does make sense -- it makes sense, in a sick sort of way, if he really is still alive," Kate admitted with a laugh. Eduardo wondered if that meant there wasn't definitive proof of Stefano's return from the dead yet. Kate confirmed that Stefano wasn't back in Salem and that no one was positive yet that he was still alive. "Though, given his track record, I should be sure. I mean, he certainly could be the one behind all the trouble we're having at DiMera," she mused.

"DiMera Enterprises is having trouble?" Eduardo asked casually. Kate confirmed the news but stressed that she shouldn't have said anything to him about it and had done so only because he was a friend. He assured her that he wanted her to feel comfortable talking to him about things that were bothering her. He wondered if she was afraid of Stefano. Scoffing, she insisted, "Believe me, I would be glad if the son of a bitch was still alive. It makes life so much more interesting." She then excused herself so she could get to the hospital in time for Adrienne's chemotherapy appointment.

Kate arrived at the hospital in time to save Adrienne from Lucas and Justin, who had both been trying to gain an invitation to the chemotherapy appointment. Kate told the men to back off, reminding them that Adrienne's doctors had advised her to avoid stress. Adrienne gratefully followed Kate to the treatment room, leaving Lucas and Justin behind in the waiting area.

Later, as Adrienne was undergoing her chemotherapy treatment, she admitted to Kate that she felt vain and stupid because she couldn't adopt Angelina Jolie's nonchalant attitude about a double mastectomy. Kate insisted that Adrienne was neither vain nor stupid and didn't have to undergo a double mastectomy just because Angelina Jolie had.

"[But] it is vain, Kate. I don't want to be disfigured," Adrienne admitted. She quickly apologized for having used that particular word, acknowledging that she was supposed to avoid using it and instead choose positive words to describe the procedure. "Oh, my God! Who the hell are these word police? You can use any word you want to with me, okay? You don't have to be a poster child," Kate stressed.

Changing the subject, Adrienne admitted that she hated the way Justin and Lucas looked at her. "It's like bringing two puppies along with you to chemo," Kate agreed, eliciting a boisterous laugh from Adrienne, who doubted that anyone else could get the same response from her during a chemotherapy appointment, of all things. "And you're right -- they are like puppies. They are exactly like puppies!" Adrienne added. "I know, right? We're gonna have to get you a rolled-up newspaper," Kate whispered conspiratorially.

After the chemotherapy treatment ended, Adrienne returned to the waiting area and caught Justin and Lucas shaking hands and making a pact to get along with each other for her sake. She left before they noticed her. Later, she told Kate that she had decided, in light of the men's truce, to let them take turns joining her at her chemotherapy appointments, meaning that Kate would no longer need to attend each one. "But when it comes time to have the surgery..." Adrienne began to add. "I'm gonna be there. You can count on me," Kate promised. Adrienne thanked Kate and gave her a hug.

At the Brady Pub, Lucas ran into Anne, who seized the opportunity to ask him for a favor. "I have had a little bit of a hard time since, uh, D.J. Wear went bust, and, well, there is a marketing position out there right now that is so perfect for me. But, uh, it's at the Spectator," she explained. She stressed that it was her dream job -- aside from the minor issue that the owner of the Spectator happened to hate her.

Lucas argued that Jennifer's hatred was warranted, given everything Anne had done to make her life miserable. Anne said she deeply regretted her past actions, prompting Lucas to wonder if she regretted them because she knew they had been wrong or because she knew they could keep her from getting what she wanted from Jennifer. "Is that a trick question?" she asked, but she quickly added that she was kidding. She promised that she would do a good job at the Spectator and would treat Jennifer with respect and courtesy. Lucas reluctantly agreed to at least consider putting in a good word for Anne.

At Club TBD, Eduardo warned Dario that they needed to close their business deal as soon as possible, since the DiMeras were distracted at the moment due to Stefano's possible return from the dead but would soon regroup and do everything in their power to get their microchips back. Dario wondered how Kate would feel if she knew that Eduardo was the one who had orchestrated the theft of the microchips. "Kate loves a fight. She'll come roaring back. She's not gonna hold this against me," Eduardo dismissively insisted, adding that Kate would have done the same thing if their roles had been reversed. Dario observed that it seemed like Kate had gotten to Eduardo. "More than anyone I've ever met," Eduardo admitted with a smile.

Later, Kate joined Eduardo at Club TBD. Shortly after they ordered drinks, she stepped aside to answer a phone call. She was shocked when the caller revealed the name of the person who had stolen the microchips. She started to insist that couldn't be true, but as she looked across the room at Eduardo, she changed her mind, admitting, "It can be true; I guess I just don't want it to be. Actually, it makes all the sense in the world."

Friday, December 30, 2016
by Mike

At Club TBD, Kate contacted a second source, who confirmed what the first source had told her: Eduardo Hernandez was the man who had stolen the microchips from DiMera Enterprises. "Yes, I know him. Or at least I thought I did," she told the second source. She ended the call after adding, "You don't tell another living soul what you just told me. And if you're wrong, there'll be dire consequences."

When Kate rejoined Eduardo, he observed that it seemed like she had just received some bad news. She vaguely explained that it had been about an important business matter. He wanted her to tell him about it over drinks, but she insisted that she had to leave right away so she could take care of the issue, which was time-sensitive. He protested that she was going to miss the New Year's Eve fireworks display. "Well, I'm gonna be blowing up a few things on my own, so..." she replied. He warned that people often said it was bad luck for a couple to start the new year apart, but she dismissively assured him, "We're doing pretty good, right? We're solid."

Chad entered the Brady Pub and found Andre waiting for him at one of the booths, having already taken the liberty of ordering a bottle of Champagne for them to share. Andre said he was glad that Chad had suggested they could ring in the New Year together -- although he would have preferred a much more upscale venue. "It's been a hell of a year for the DiMera family: losing father, Abigail..." Chad mused.

"Yeah, it's been most difficult. But I really feel that in 2017, that you and I will restore our family back to its former glory," Andre replied. He reached for the bottle of Champagne, eager to make a toast to the new year, but Chad stopped him, warning, "Maybe hold off. See, I'm still trying to decide whether or not I'm gonna kill you for making me believe my wife was dead." Guessing that Abigail had sold him out, Andre defensively stressed that it had been her idea and that he had simply helped with the logistics. Chad argued that Abigail had been mentally ill back then, but Andre insisted that she had known exactly what she had wanted.

Chad suspected that Andre had gone along with the plan in the hope that faking Abigail's death would leave Chad vulnerable to a takeover of DiMera Enterprises, but Andre denied the accusation, insisting that he had simply been trying to help. "Why the hell should I ever believe you again?" Chad wondered. "Because something's happened that can change everything for our family," Andre replied. Chad was stunned when Andre proceeded to reveal that Stefano might still be alive. Chad assumed that Andre had consumed a lot of Champagne before his arrival, but Andre insisted that he was stone-cold sober.

After hearing the details, Chad guessed that Andre had helped fake Stefano's death, too. Andre dismissively insisted that the Phoenix didn't need anyone to help him rise from the ashes. "I'm so sick of this. I mean, I have worked too hard to make this family legitimate and respectable again. All the secrets and the lies keep bringing us down," Chad complained. Andre offered to keep Chad apprised of any new developments as the ISA and the Salem Police Department continued to investigate Stefano's possible return from the dead, but Chad insisted that he wanted to be left out of the whole thing because he already had enough to worry about.

Andre took that to mean that Chad's reunion with Abigail wasn't going smoothly. Chad insisted that was none of Andre's business, but Andre disagreed, stressing that he had grown to care about Abigail over the past few months and wanted to see her work things out with Chad. "You're in shock -- angry, confused -- but you do have your wife back, and you're starting the new year with your family intact, so get over your anger, count your blessings, and move on with your life," Andre advised, adding that if Stefano truly was still alive, Chad and Thomas were going to need Abigail more than they ever had before.

Later, after Chad left, Kate entered the pub and joined Andre at his booth. Turning over a knife in his hand, Andre mused, "Do you know that on New Year's Eve, the Chinese hide all the knives in the house? And do you know why? Because if someone cuts himself, it cuts the luck of the entire family for the coming year." Ignoring the trivia, Kate cut to the chase, revealing that she knew who had stolen the microchips. Surprised to hear that Eduardo was the culprit, Andre guessed that the development had put a wrench in Kate's budding romance with the Hernandez patriarch.

"It has nothing to do with my relationship with Eduardo," Kate insisted. She assured Andre that Eduardo still believed she was clueless. "Excellent. Then [he] will be none the wiser when you reclaim that which he stole," Andre mused. Kate dryly asked if Andre wanted her to seduce Eduardo and search his pockets for the microchips while he was distracted. When Andre didn't object to the idea, Kate made it clear that she wasn't going to resort to such tactics, insisting that there were other ways of regaining the microchips. Conceding the point, Andre warned, "You should see my methods for dealing with a thief."

After helping Abigail get through the latest in a string of panic attacks, Gabi insisted that Chad needed to be made aware of the problem before it turned into an even bigger issue and sent Abigail back into hiding. Abigail refused to tell Chad, assuring Gabi that she had everything under control. "I'm not gonna have Chad feel like he's gotta walk around on eggshells in front of me. I need him to know that I am strong, and I'm healthy, [and] I'm not someone who's just gonna fall apart when things get tough," she continued.

Gabi wondered what had triggered Abigail's latest panic attack. Abigail explained that it had begun after she had realized that the decisions she had made that year might have caused irreparable damage to her relationship with Chad -- and that, as a result, she might lose him to Gabi. She wanted to know how Chad and Gabi had gotten together in the first place, and although Gabi was reluctant to discuss the matter, she eventually shared the details of a relationship that had started as a business arrangement and had slowly evolved into more than that.

"You love him," Abigail realized. Gabi wondered if Abigail really wanted her to talk about her feelings for Chad, providing even more reasons for Abigail to hate her. Abigail insisted that she could never hate Gabi. She hesitantly started to ask if Gabi and Chad had ever slept together, but Gabi quickly stopped her, stressing that things had never gotten to that point. "Well, whatever happened between the two of you, it was my fault," Abigail conceded. She added that she had, in fact, wanted Chad to move on with someone else, at least at first. "Just not with your best friend," Gabi guessed.

Abigail confirmed that watching Chad kiss Gabi, of all people, had been really hard, and she had often had to fight the urge to scream at him to stop what he was doing. Gabi was shocked to learn that Abigail had been in Salem for quite some time and had spied on her and Chad more than once. Abigail once again credited fate for having eventually put an end to all the secrets, and she added that it was because of fate's intervention that she knew she and Chad would eventually work things out. She wondered if Gabi was going to try to stop that from happening.

Gabi conceded that what she had with Chad could never compare to what he had with Abigail. "I'm sorry, Gabi. I really am. I -- I love you so much, and I just want you to be happy," Abigail stressed. She wondered if Gabi might eventually be able to forgive J.J. and give him a second chance. "It's not that easy," Gabi insisted. Undeterred, Abigail pointed out that she was to blame for all the problems in Gabi's relationship with J.J. She urged Gabi to use New Year's Eve as a chance to make a fresh start with J.J. "Come on! What is holding you back?" she wondered.

Before Gabi could respond, she received a phone call from Chad. She ignored it, but he soon called again. "I know Chad. If he wants to talk to you, then he's not gonna stop until you answer," Abigail warned. She begged Gabi not to say anything to Chad about the panic attacks. Nodding, Gabi answered the call and told Chad that she was on her way over to Club TBD for the New Year's Eve party. "Yeah, uh, I know, [but] there's, um...there's a lot for us to discuss. Things -- things are so messed up right now, and I just -- you're the only one I can talk to about it," he explained. She insisted that she couldn't meet with him that night. She then wished him a happy New Year and abruptly ended the call, leaving him confused and disappointed. When she looked up from her cell phone in search of Abigail, she realized that she was alone.

A short time later, Gabi joined Eduardo and Arianna in the town square. Kate soon arrived and told Eduardo that she had decided to deal with the crisis later so she could ring in the New Year with him. Gabi offered to take Arianna home so Eduardo and Kate could spend the rest of the night alone together, but Eduardo encouraged her to stick to her plan to attend the party at Club TBD, assuring her that he and Kate could handle Arianna, who was already asleep, anyway. After Gabi left, Kate pulled Eduardo into a kiss, allowing her hands to roam over his jacket pockets in the process.

At the DiMera mansion, Chad found Abigail in the study, holding two glasses of Champagne. "I couldn't imagine starting the new year without you," she told him. He hesitantly accepted one of the glasses from her and listened as she admitted that although she realized that things weren't back to normal between them yet and that she still had a lot of work to do in order to regain his trust, she was grateful to be starting the new year with him. "I'm grateful for that, too," he replied. She proposed a toast to fixing mistakes and getting things right in the new year.

After learning that Abigail was still alive, Sonny rushed over to the Horton house to see her. J.J. reported that she was at the DiMera mansion. "Chad must be so happy she's back," Sonny guessed. "I think you'd have to ask Chad about that," J.J. replied. Sonny wondered how Chad could possibly be anything less than thrilled about the development. "Maybe 'cause he'd already moved on with someone else," J.J. suggested.

"Yeah, they weren't serious yet," Sonny dismissively replied, prompting J.J. to realize that he knew about Chad's relationship with Gabi. Sonny said he couldn't confirm or deny anything he may or may not have heard about the matter because he shared a daughter with Gabi and considered Chad his best friend. "That's helpful," J.J. muttered. He added that he wasn't even upset with Chad, since it wasn't hard to understand why someone would fall for Gabi. "But he needs to leave her alone and focus on his wife," he stressed.

J.J. vowed to win Gabi back, prompting Sonny to wonder how he planned to do that. "I haven't figured that out...yet," J.J. admitted. Sonny excitedly offered to help out. He insisted, however, that in order to do so, he would need to know exactly what was keeping J.J. and Gabi apart. J.J. explained what had happened, and Sonny made him promise that, moving forward, he would always be completely honest with Gabi. Sonny then revealed that Gabi was going to be at the New Year's Eve party at Club TBD.

Derrick met Paul outside the Brady Pub and wondered if he was excited about the New Year's Eve party they were planning to attend at Club TBD. Paul confirmed, while staring at his cell phone, that he was. Unconvinced, Derrick stressed that if Paul would rather do something else, that would be fine, too. "Whatever you want," Paul replied with a smile.

Derrick wondered if the real issue wasn't that Paul would rather be doing something else but instead that he would rather be doing it with a different guy. "Why do you bring up Sonny every time we're together?" Paul asked. "Because I know you still have feelings for him. And if you want to be with him --" Derrick began. Interrupting, Paul grasped Derrick's hand and stressed, "I am here. With you." He conceded, however, that he was being a terrible date, focusing more on business calls than on Derrick. He suggested that he and Derrick could start the night over, and Derrick agreed.

Later, at Club TBD, Lani greeted Paul and Derrick and wondered if she could join them. They agreed, and as she took a seat at their table and offered to pay for the next round of drinks herself, Paul wondered if she was enjoying living in Miami. Lani confirmed that she was but admitted that she missed Abe and Theo and was glad to be back in Salem for the holidays. "Must be nice to see some good friends," Paul guessed. Lani confirmed that she had been glad to see some old faces. "Others? Not so much," she added as J.J. entered the club with Sonny.

Sighing, Derrick knocked back a drink as Paul rushed to invite Sonny and J.J. to join them. "Lani, I'm surprised you don't have a date tonight. You're usually knocking them away with your nightstick," J.J. joked. "What's that supposed to mean? That I'm with a lot of guys?" Lani asked defensively. He explained that he had simply been trying to pay her a compliment. "Don't bother," she snapped before grabbing her stuff and retreating to the bar. Confused, J.J. asked the other guys if he had done something wrong. They agreed that J.J.'s comment had seemed innocent enough. "But you definitely pissed her off somehow," Sonny observed.

With Sonny's encouragement, J.J. followed Lani to the bar to find out what he had done to upset her. She argued that she had a right to be upset after what had happened in Miami. Still confused, he wondered what she was talking about. "Did you just conveniently forget that we slept together?" she asked. He insisted that couldn't be true.

Meanwhile, Derrick tried to take advantage of some alone time with Paul, attempting to make small talk with him. He gave up, however, when Paul took one too many glances in Sonny's general direction during the conversation. Fed up, Derrick dragged Paul over to Sonny's table and declared that he was sick of being the third wheel in the equation. "Paul, if you're not gonna say something, I will," Derrick warned.

When Paul remained silent, Derrick continued, "Sonny, he still has feelings for you, and if the way that you've been looking at him since you walked in is any indication, you still have feelings for him, too. And I'm done fighting against this. Maybe you two shouldn't, either. Happy New Year." After Derrick walked away, Sonny wondered, "Is it true? What he said about you?" Paul hesitantly confirmed that it was. He explained that he had claimed otherwise because he hadn't wanted to put Sonny in a tough spot. "I know that Will is still an issue for us, and if you and I ever got together, you'd feel guilty. And so would I," Paul continued.

"So, you don't really just want to be friends?" Sonny asked. Paul admitted that he wanted to be more than that with Sonny. "Well, since we're being honest...I have feelings for you, too," Sonny revealed. As the clock struck midnight, Sonny and Paul shared a kiss, and J.J. stared in disbelief at a picture Lani had stored on her phone from the night they had slept together in Miami. "Oh, my God. She was the woman you had sex with?" Gabi asked as she joined J.J. and Lani at the bar. Meanwhile, at the DiMera mansion, Chad shared a tentative kiss with Abigail.

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