Sarah was surprised when Rex showed up at Eric's apartment, but Rex was equally surprised to see Sarah there. "Maybe I should have called first. Am I...interrupting something?" Rex asked suspiciously, eyeing the remains of Sarah and Eric's dinner. "No, no, no -- of course you're not interrupting," Eric replied as Rex entered the apartment and approached Sarah.
"Why are you here, Rex? Shouldn't you be back in Chicago with Mimi and your baby girl? I figured you'd all be a happy family by now," Sarah said to Rex with obvious bitterness. Rex admitted to having lobbied for Mimi and Emily to move to Chicago -- but only so the three of them would all be in the same city. "[Mimi and I -- there's] nothing romantic between us at all, 'cause she's not the woman that I want, [Sarah]. I gave up on us way too easily, and that's why I came back -- to fight for you. [You know], this past New Year's Eve, all I could do was think about you, because that's the night that you and I were supposed to be married..." Rex continued.
Feeling awkward, Eric tried to duck out of the apartment for a while, but Sarah immediately objected, not wanting to be alone with Rex. "I didn't give you a single thought on New Year's Eve," Sarah claimed, but Rex wasn't convinced. "I know how angry you were -- [and] how angry you still are -- [and] you have every right to be, [but] our feelings for each other were so strong, [and] I don't think you're over 'em yet. In fact, I know you're not," Rex argued. "You're right. I'm not," Sarah conceded. "I do have strong feelings for you -- very strong feelings...of wanting to strangle you," Sarah added before ordering Rex to leave.
"You can't throw me out. It's not your place," Rex countered, prompting Sarah to turn to Eric for backup. "How'd you know where to find me?" Eric randomly asked Rex, trying to avoid picking a side. "Went to see Dad. And there aren't any vacancies at the pub, so he gave me your new address. I'm sorry for just dropping in like this, man, but I was hoping I could crash here for a while," Rex replied. Sarah tried to object, but Eric didn't want to turn away a family member in need. "You are wasting your time coming back here. I forgave you once, and it was a huge mistake. I am not gonna do it again," Sarah told Rex before storming out of the apartment.
"I need your help," Rex asked Eric once the coast was clear. "Sure. With what?" Eric replied. "Getting Sarah back," Rex elaborated.
At the park, J.J. curiously wondered how Haley and Trask were related -- and if Trask was the person who had been on the other end of Haley's recent phone conversations, including the particularly upsetting one that had preceded Haley's suicide attempt. "Seems that you're a serial eavesdropper," Trask grumbled while glaring at J.J. as if trying to figure out how to prosecute such a crime.
"Are you [Haley's] mother?" J.J. asked Trask, not bothering to apologize for anything. "Excuse me! Do I look old enough to be her mother?" Trask indignantly replied, the scowl deepening at once. "[She's just] my fellow Chinese-American. Our community is rather small here in Salem, so we have to stick together -- like family," Trask claimed, but J.J. wasn't convinced.
"Why don't you want people to know you're related? What are you hiding?" J.J. asked. "I suggest you avoid cross-examining the D.A. You're not likely to win," Trask replied. J.J. continued asking questions, not the least bit intimidated. Trask shot Haley a look of impatience, prompting Haley to beg J.J. to drop the matter. J.J. sighed and reluctantly agreed to do so -- but insisted that it would never be forgotten.
"Just what I need -- for the son of this town's most intrepid reporter to make you his personal charity case," Trask grumbled once the coast was clear. "You knew how important it was for me to be discreet. I have stuck my neck out for you, covering for your mistakes...but I can't do that anymore, or you and I are both gonna suffer the consequences," Trask added. "J.J. knows too much. You have to fix it...or I will," Trask warned Haley.
At the Salem Inn, Eve considered Chad's earlier proposal. "There was a time when I could be bought...but not anymore," she ultimately decided, tossing the contract in a trash can.
With that settled, Eve rushed off in search of Jack -- and chose to start the search at the Horton Town Square, where Kayla was in the middle of recording a voicemail message for Steve. "I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes me -- just the thought of [Stefan] rotting in a federal prison -- [and] I just hope it means that the FBI is wrapping up their case, and you can come home now. It's been too long, my love. And I know that you want to see Jack --" Kayla said as Eve approached. "I don't know if that's gonna happen. Jack's missing," Eve dramatically revealed, prompting Kayla to cut the message short.
"Maybe he was just trying to get away from you," Kayla suggested after realizing that Jack had simply bailed on a dinner date with Eve. Outraged, Eve wondered why everyone was being so rude to the person who was responsible for Jack's return to Salem. "[Because we all know] that the real reason that you did it was so that you could rub this so-called 'relationship' with him in all of our faces," Kayla explained with a shrug. "You think I would go to all that trouble --" Eve indignantly began to respond. "Oh, come on -- you don't need to deny it," Kayla tiredly stated, adding that Eve was only using Jack to hurt Jennifer.
"Wait -- you're painting him as a victim here? I mean, really? After what he did to you? He raped you," Eve shamelessly noted. "Thanks for the reminder," Kayla sarcastically replied. "You're being mighty forgiving. What, are you bucking for sainthood? Hmm? I mean, if I were you, I'd be really worried if my attacker were roaming the streets of Salem," Eve continued. "And yet you are perfectly happy to share a room with him..." Kayla countered. "Oh, I'm not worried about Jack attacking me. We have an understanding. We're cut from the same cloth," Eve dismissively insisted.
Kayla warned Eve that Jack and Jennifer would eventually get back together, as had always been the case in the past. "And when that happens, you're gonna be out in the cold -- again. So, why don't you do yourself a favor and leave town so you don't have to experience that pain?" Kayla suggested. "You're not worried about me getting hurt; you just want me out of this town, just like everybody else does," Eve countered before revealing that Chad was also trying to rid Salem of a pariah. "[Well], too bad for you [two], because I'm not leaving this town until I get exactly what I came here for," Eve vowed.
"[Is revenge] really gonna fill the hole inside of you? [Or stop the] loneliness that eats away at your soul?" Kayla asked pointedly. "Maybe you should worry about your own soul. See, I'm not the one that's going home to a cold, empty bed every night," Eve countered. Ignoring the bait, Kayla sympathetically acknowledged that Eve had suffered the unimaginable pain of losing an only child. "Don't you dare..." Eve began to warn while fighting back tears, but Kayla forged ahead. "How do you think [Paige] would feel if she saw what you were up to? [I mean], I know your daughter loved you, and I'm sure you want to live a life that honors her," Kayla said.
"But Salem just holds all these painful memories. Do you really want to subject yourself to that kind of pain? It happens every time you come back. Why don't you try to break the cycle and take a chance on a fresh start? As long as you are in Salem, you are always going to be reminded of Paige's death, and it's just [gonna be] so much harder to move past the pain -- especially now that Ben Weston's in town," Kayla continued, getting to Eve.
Just then, J.J. passed through the area. Eve wondered if J.J. had seen Jack recently. "He's with my mom -- alone," J.J. revealed. "What? Where?" Eve asked incredulously. "None of your business," J.J. insisted. "Fine, I'll find him myself!" Eve snapped before storming off. J.J. started to chase after Eve, but Kayla advised that it would be best to let Eve go.
"I never should have said [my parents] were together. I just -- I was happy to have something to throw in [Eve's] face," J.J. admitted with a sigh. "If it makes you feel any better, I don't think she's gonna ruin it for them. [We] had a heart-to-heart, and I think maybe I got through to her. I think she understands what's best for everybody, including her, and that would be to bow out gracefully," Kayla optimistically replied.
Changing the subject, J.J. asked if Kayla knew anything about Haley's family situation. "No. Why?" Kayla curiously replied. "I was just -- I was wondering if maybe, uh, she's having family problems," J.J. vaguely explained.
After parting ways with J.J., Kayla went to the Brady Pub, where Sarah was doing shots. Kayla wondered if everything was okay, prompting Sarah to vent about Rex's return. Kayla gently suggested that Sarah might not truly be over Rex yet. "Of course I am. Completely," Sarah insisted before exiting the pub. Meanwhile, Haley dropped by J.J.'s apartment. "Sorry to bother you. I have nowhere else to go," Haley explained.
At Doug's Place, Jennifer tried to convince Jack that they could have a great life together once again. "No, I don't believe we can," he argued. "We have been divorced twice. I'm guessing there's a reason for that," he continued. "Stop trying so hard, Jennifer, please, [and] admit it -- I'm not the family man that you make me out to be," he challenged her.
Confused, Jennifer assured Jack that she wasn't keeping any deep, dark secrets from him. "Yes, we had our share of big problems, but that does not change the fact that you were a loving father and a very devoted husband --" she began to add. "And a rapist," he bluntly noted. "I shouldn't be with someone like you -- someone who only sees the good in other people, [someone] who's selfless and kind... The only reason I'm here tonight, after all, is because of the money. I should be with someone more like...like me [or] like Eve," he argued, sighing.
Jennifer passionately stressed that Jack was nothing like Eve. "You have things in your past that you regret, [and] so do I, [but] did Kayla tell you [that] you had an abusive father, [or] that you were given up for adoption [and] ended up with Senator Harper Deveraux, who was so violent and so disturbed...? Jack, you were traumatized --" Jennifer continued.
"[That's] not an excuse to abuse another person -- violate another person!" Jack incredulously countered. "You're right -- it's not an 'excuse'; it's a reason," Jennifer matter-of-factly replied. "And maybe you can look at that reason and try to forgive yourself. I know it helped me to forgive you," Jennifer told Jack, still speaking passionately.
"Every time I had struggles, I had this wonderful family to support me, [but] you had no one. You had to fight all of these demons on your own, [and] you know what, Jack? You did it. You fought so hard. You went to therapy. You paid your dues to society. And...years later, when I was raped, you were the one who helped me through it, because I never thought I could ever love or trust another man again, but you loved me, and you supported me, and that is what got me through it," Jennifer added, surprising Jack with the painful secret.
"But you didn't even believe [that]. You didn't give yourself credit for anything, because you never...you never felt worthy. You blamed yourself for everything that went wrong. [Even] when Abigail got sick, you blamed yourself, but really, you're the one who got us through it, because you have this gigantic heart, and you have this generous spirit, and this crazy-wicked sense of humor...but because of your childhood, every time someone gets close to you, you want to run away. And I am not going to let you do that now -- or ever again," Jennifer continued.
"You're a journalist, Jack -- a terrific journalist. You taught me to be a champion of truth. And your children? You are the most loving father. They adore you. They think you hung the moon. And me? I married you because I loved you with all of my heart. I still do. And I don't care what else you have forgotten; I know [that], deep down inside, [you] couldn't forget our love, Jack. I know that. So, I am begging you to forget all of this -- forget the noise, forget the lies that Eve is whispering in your ears -- and just look at me -- listen to me...[and] to your heart," Jennifer concluded.
Eve entered the club just as Jennifer and Jack were about to kiss. Eve quickly interrupted and delighted in teasing Jack about the earlier disappearing act -- and noting that Jack's habit of disappearing was one of the things Jennifer had hated most during their years together, and had even been one of the main reasons their relationship had never really worked out. "It's true, isn't it?" Jack asked Jennifer. "We were just getting somewhere. Please don't go with her. Come home with me," Jennifer begged, ignoring Jack's question. "I was only here for the money," Jack replied before leaving with Eve, who couldn't wait to hear more about that.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail wondered why Chad had deliberately misrepresented the nature of the dinner date. "I wasn't sure your father was even gonna go," Chad explained with a shrug, adding that the plan to get the Deveraux clan together for a family dinner would have been a bit of a bust without Jack's cooperation. "He told me that you had to pay him off [to get him to go]," Abigail revealed. "He wasn't supposed to tell you that part," Chad grumbled, wincing. "Of course not," Abigail replied with a shake of the head. "Is it so hard for you to just be honest with me?" Abigail asked.
"[Here], I will start -- I...did not want to see you tonight. Julie guilted me into it. I was sure that there was nothing you could say or do to move me," Abigail informed Chad. "But, in the interest of honesty, I...will admit that...you did move me. I see that you were trying to do something really special for me, and [that you were trying] to provide some healing for me and my family, and that means a lot to me, so...thank you," Abigail added.
Chad gave Abigail a nod. "Since we're being honest with one another, I should probably tell you that I offered Eve Donovan a job tonight...in Paris," Chad revealed. "Did she take it?" Abigail asked. "She's thinking about it," Chad replied. "Look, I know money can't fix all of our problems, [but] I just figured [that] if she does accept, then your parents may have a stronger chance of being able to work things out," Chad added.
Chad was pleased to hear that the family dinner had ended up being fairly enjoyable. "There was a moment when it really felt like it was back to the old days -- just the four of us again -- and that was...special," Abigail admitted. "Except...I knew that it wasn't going to last. Which is exactly how it is in our little family," Abigail added.
Chad understood why Abigail was still being so guarded around him, but he vowed to keep fighting to win her back. She soon found herself responding to a kiss he had initiated, but she quickly pushed him away and insisted that she wasn't ready to forgive him yet because they still needed to rebuild their trust in each other first. "I'm willing to work on that," he assured her. "I know you are, [but] I don't know if I am, [and] it goes both ways," she countered. He denied that there were any trust issues on his end, but she argued that there was a part of him that resented her for having slept with his brother, regardless of the circumstances.
"Otherwise, you would have been able to accept Charlotte for exactly what she was, which was a beautiful miracle, no matter who her father was...but instead, every single time that you saw me when I was pregnant, you were reminded about the night that I betrayed you. You didn't even think that you could love Charlotte, and that is the one thing I don't know if I can get past," Abigail told Chad, who regretfully acknowledged that had been wrong.
"I know that you love me...and I love you..." Abigail began. "But?" Chad asked nervously. "I'm not ready -- not now. I'm not, and... I'm just not. But I...I hope that maybe someday I will be," Abigail elaborated before leaving.
At the Kiriakis mansion, an annoyed Xander woke up to find Leo lying in bed next to him, staring. "I thought we could discuss my offer. A roll in the hay in exchange for the leverage I used to get Sonny to marry me," Leo said. As Leo caressed Xander's arm, Xander pulled away and noted that he was thinking about the offer. Leo suggested that they "seal the deal right now." When Leo caressed Xander, Xander gave Leo a warning look.
"Sonny married a real prince, didn't he?" Xander muttered. "Some might even say queen who isn't afraid to use her power and influence to go after what she wants," Leo countered. Xander called Leo ambitious. "Just like you. I think we have a lot in common," Leo said. Xander reminded Leo that he was not gay.
"You seem like a guy who would try anything once, especially if it would help you achieve your goal," Leo said as he rubbed Xander's neck. Xander leaned forward to kiss Leo, but he stopped short, teasing him. Xander whispered that he needed more time to think about the offer.
Downstairs, Sonny talked to Will on his cell phone. "The sooner we get Leo out of our lives, the sooner we can be together," Will said. Sonny agreed that it was killing him to be apart from Will. Sonny heard someone in the foyer, so he promised Will that he would call him back.
As Sonny ended his call, he turned and found Sarah walking into the Kiriakis living room. The tension ran out of Sonny as he explained that he had believed that Sarah was his husband. "No wonder you are so relieved to see me," Sarah joked. Sarah asked Sonny why he had married Leo.
"It is kind of hard to explain. I thought Leo was out of my life for good and then he just kind of swooped back in and wouldn't take no for an answer," Sonny said. "I can relate," Sarah grumbled. Sarah told Sonny about Rex's return to Salem.
"Did you ever think about giving him a second chance?" Sonny said. "Why would I?" Sarah asked with a look of horror on her face. Sonny reasoned aloud that it was romantic that Rex had returned to town to fight for Sarah. With a shrug, Sarah said that Rex was great with grand gestures but not with the day-to-day parts of a relationship. Sonny noted that Rex would have to work to regain Sarah's trust. Sarah confirmed that Rex had said as much to her.
"There's a baby now. A living, breathing child that was conceived when Rex and I were together and not with me. Don't you think that might be hard for me to get over?" Sarah asked. Sarah added that Rex was spoiled.
"In reality, he is just another Neanderthal walking around, all cocky, just used to taking whatever he wants," Sarah said. Right on cue, Xander walked by and swiped the muffin off of the plate that Sarah was holding.
"Excuse me! That was my muffin," Sarah yelped. "You're new. We're not related, are we?" Xander asked. Sonny introduced Sarah to Xander as Maggie's daughter. Xander's face lit up. "So, we're not blood! Lucky me," Xander commented as he poured a cup of coffee. Sarah asked Sonny who was her muffin thief.
"Xander Cook. Victor's nephew," Sonny explained. "Oh. My God. You're the jerk that blackmailed Nicole into marrying you. I thought you died in that fire with her," Sarah said. With a grin, Xander confirmed that he had escaped the explosion. "The Mrs. was not quite so fortunate," Xander added. Xander reminded Sarah that he had slept in the sheets of her Nashville apartment.
"Having slept in your bed, I feel like you and I already share a special connection," Xander said he made eyes at Sarah. Disgusted, Sarah told Xander that he was obnoxious. Sonny excused himself to leave, and he warned Sarah to hit Xander with the fire poker if he "got out of line." As Sonny threw on his coat in the foyer, Leo called out to him from the staircase. Sonny groaned.
"I'm surprised you're up. It's not even noon," Sonny said. "Is that why you thought you could sneak out on me?" Leo asked. Sonny explained that he was on his way to University Hospital to meet with administrators about the donation the Kiriakis family had made at Christmas. Though Sonny assured Leo that there would be no press on site, Leo insisted that he wanted to join Sonny on his outing to "keep up appearances."
In the living room, Xander suggested that he and Sarah could be friends. "As a general rule, I don't make friends with psychotic killers," Sarah said coldly. Xander playfully called Sarah judgmental. Annoyed, Sarah asked Xander why he was not in jail for shooting Marlena.
"I see the rumor mill is in full swing around here. You don't really buy into all those silly rumors, do you?" Xander asked. Xander encouraged Sarah to get to know him better before making any judgments about his character. With a devilish grin, Xander suggested that Sarah join him in the hot tub. "That's a hard pass," Sarah said before walking out of the room.
In the Brady Pub, John gave Marlena tickets to see Kiss Me, Kate in Chicago. "What's the occasion?" Marlena asked. "You," John said. John explained that, after almost losing Marlena to a bullet, he wanted to spend the rest of their lives together on an extended honeymoon. With a sigh, Marlena said she hoped to never hear about Xander again.
"The guy did us the courtesy of getting himself blown up in that explosion, so he is not going to hurt us or our family ever again. Right?" John said. John's phone rang with a call from Paul. With a grin, John warned Marlena not to eat his eggs as he trotted off to the corner to answer the call.
"What about your bacon?" Marlena said quietly. As Marlena reached over to steal John's bacon, Will walked into the pub. Marlena urged Will to join her. Marlena and Will talked about Sami. Will noted that E.J.'s recovery was going slowly and that he was not able to communicate yet.
"It must be so difficult having the man you love right there. So near. So far," Marlena said. "I know how that feels," Will agreed. Will informed Marlena that he had been looking for information about Leo's mother for leverage against him. "Unfortunately, I have hit a dead end," Will said. Marlena urged Will to ask John, but Will was reluctant to ask John for help after what had happened with Paul.
"You love who you love. And John understands that," Marlena counseled. "John understands what?" John asked as he returned to the table. "Will needs your help," Marlena said. After explaining the situation to John, Will sheepishly said he could finish the investigation on his own. Marlena explained that Will had not wanted to ask John for help because Will had broken Paul's heart.
"It didn't seem right because, if you helped, you would basically be helping Sonny and me get together," Will said. "And you think I'd have a problem with that?" John asked. Will blinked. John said he had been angry, but he had realized that Will had attempted to do the right thing in staying with Paul, even if it had been a bad idea.
"I definitely did not go about it the right way, but I never meant to hurt him," Will stressed. John said he understood. "So does Paul. He wants nothing but the best for you and Sonny," John added. John explained that he had just spoken to Paul on the phone, and Paul had explicitly said that. With a grin, John added that Paul had a date with his physical therapist. Will smiled, genuinely happy to hear that Paul was doing well.
"I love Paul, and I will do anything for my son, but I hope you know, Will, that you are family, also, and I love you, too. If you need my help, I'm here for you," John said. Marlena left for work, and John remained to talk to Will about Leo. Will thanked John for his previous assistance in locating Leo's arrest record. Will admitted that he had exhausted his resources at the paper.
"Well, I have got good news for you because now you have the resources of Black Patch," John said. John added, "And there is not a case yet that I have not cracked!" Will's phone beeped with a text message from Sonny. The text read, "Can't meet up. Errand @ hospital & Voldemort insisted on coming. Sorry." Will sighed. John asked what was wrong.
"I just don't like being away from Sonny," Will said. John told Will that he and Marlena had suffered through a lot over the years but had always had faith that he and Marlena would find their way back to one another. Will admitted he had been saying the same thing to himself about Sonny. Talk turned to the case, and John pulled out his laptop. Will was quiet as John talked.
"I know how hard it is to be separated from Sonny. So, if it helps, you can use Doc and me as an example. I remember how I hated all the times we were apart. You know, we struggled through all kinds of stuff, all these obstacles to get back together. And you know what that did? It just made our love a lot stronger, and I got a feeling the same is going to hold true for you and Sonny," John said.
Will said he hoped that was true. With a laugh, John noted that if he and Marlena could beat the Devil, Will could defeat Leo. "To be honest, I think Leo could give the Devil a run for his money," Will moaned.
At the hospital, Leo commented on how strange it was that Seth Burns had not been expecting a visit from Sonny. "I told you, I got the dates mixed up," Sonny explained. Sonny told Leo that Leo did not need to wait with him while he waited to reschedule with Seth. Sonny encouraged Leo to go shopping instead.
"I wouldn't dare leave my husband's side! He's so dreamy, I have to fight off the suitors with a stick," Leo said as he sat down with a magazine in the waiting area. Sonny's phone beeped with a message from Adrienne about Arianna's school. Sonny groaned that his mother treated him like he wasn't a grown adult.
"Maybe she got that idea from your questionable taste in wardrobe," Leo said snidely. Sonny asked Leo if his mom treated him the same way. "I told you, she is the worst mom ever. All she cares about is herself," Leo muttered. When Sonny asked Leo if he kept in touch with his mother, Leo said no. Pushing his luck, Sonny asked Leo if his mother lived nearby. Suspicious, Leo put down his magazine and looked at Sonny.
"Why are you so interested in my mom?" Leo asked. Sonny apologized for hitting a nerve. "You didn't. I would rather just talk about things more interesting than my mother," Leo said. Out of the corner of Sonny's eye, he saw Will peeking out from behind a nearby hallway. With a nod, Sonny said he was going check in with Seth Burns about rescheduling. Sonny walked around the corner to follow Will.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Xander sat in the living room and was peeling a banana when Leo texted. "Hope ur still considering my offer. I promise I'll make it worth ur while. Hell, u may even enjoy it," the text read. Xander looked at the banana in his hand and creased his brow in contemplation.
In a vacant, darkened hospital room, Sonny and Will met up for a secret make-out session. "I can't stay long," Sonny whispered. Will told Sonny that John had agreed to track down Leo's mother. "It's only a matter of time before we find mommy dearest," Will said.
In Eric's apartment, a sleepy-eyed Rex wished Eric a good morning as Rex ate cereal in the kitchen. Eric, lost in thought about almost kissing Sarah, did not notice Rex. "You're like a million miles away right now. Something on your mind?" Rex asked. Eric shook off the memory and looked at Rex. Eric explained that he had been thinking about how caught off guard Sarah had been by Rex's return to town.
"I was kind of caught off guard as well. I mean I show up here and she is at your place, at that hour, wearing your shirt," Rex said. Eric promised Rex that there was nothing going on with Sarah. Rex noted that he had been joking. Rex asked Eric for help winning over Sarah.
"How exactly would I do that?" Eric asked. Rex suggested that Eric talk him up to Sarah. With a shrug, Eric explained that he had not been friends with Sarah very long. Rex asked about Eric's friendship. Eric explained that he and Sarah had bonded over his loss of Nicole and her loss of Rex. With a smile, Eric noted that Sarah had had his back in the custody battle. Rex agreed that Sarah was a formidable ally.
"I wouldn't want to be on her bad side," Eric said. With a sigh, Eric said he did not think he should interfere in Rex and Sarah's relationship. "I just need to know if I have a shot with her," Rex said. Eric worried aloud that Sarah might open up to him, and Eric did not want to betray Sarah's confidence. Rex assured Eric that anything Sarah said to Eric about him, she would have no trouble saying to Rex's face.
"Then you talk to her," Eric countered. Rex refused. Rex said he needed to research the situation first. When Rex asked Eric if Sarah had talked about him, Eric told Rex that Sarah usually only referred to Rex by names like "cheating bastard." Rex rubbed his forehead in frustration.
"I don't blame her for hating what I did. But that's just it. She hates what I did. She doesn't hate me," Rex said confidently. Rex said he hoped that Sarah still loved him. With a firm nod, Rex corrected himself and said that he was certain Sarah still loved him. Rex lamented that he had not fought harder to explain what he had done and how he had felt about Sarah.
"You just found out you had a kid. It makes sense that your whole focus would be about them and going to find Mimi and Emily," Eric said. Rex said he did not regret the time he had spent getting to know Emily and working out a custody agreement with Mimi. Eric asked Rex if he had hooked up with Mimi again. Rex admitted he had thought about getting together with Mimi but had realized he only loved Sarah.
"My heart belongs to [Sarah]. It always will," Rex said. Eric encouraged Rex to tell Sarah everything that Rex had told him. Rex asked if Eric could call Sarah and convince her to visit the apartment so that Rex could plead his case to her. "When she gets here, you've got to make yourself scarce," Rex added. Eric shifted his eyes, unsure. Before Eric could agree, Rex thanked Eric and ran to jump into the shower.
There was a knock at the door. It was Sarah. "Xander Cook is still alive, and he is here in Salem," Sarah said. When Rex finished his shower, he walked into the living room and found Sarah standing there alone. "You're here! That was fast," Rex said as he clutched the towel around his waist. Confused, Sarah asked what Rex meant. Rex explained that he had asked Eric to invite Sarah over to talk.
"No. I came here on my own because I had some unsettling news for Eric, and he asked me to wait here for him while he went and dealt with the problem. I'm starting to wonder if I should have gone with him," Sarah said. Rex raised a quizzical eyebrow.
When Eric arrived at the Kiriakis mansion, he shouted out Xander's name. Eric ran into the living room, grabbed Xander from behind, and threw him against the wall. "You killed Nicole, now I'm going to kill you!" Eric shouted.
Haley woke up on J.J.'s couch. Across the room, J.J. cooked breakfast. When J.J. noticed Haley was awake, he told her that breakfast was almost ready. Haley thanked J.J for allowing her to crash at his apartment. "Maybe you can start by giving me some answers," J.J. said. Haley's smile disappeared. J.J. plated up the food and handed it to Haley.
When J.J. asked Haley to talk to him about her problems, Haley deflected and said that she would rather hear about J.J.'s life. Haley asked about Jack. "We actually had a nice family dinner together," J.J. admitted. J.J. pushed Haley to tell him how she was related to Melinda.
"Because we're both Chinese? That's a pretty racist assumption, you know," Haley said. "It's an assumption because I heard Melinda say it," J.J. said defensively. J.J. asked Haley if Melinda was her sister. Haley said nothing. With a nod, J.J. said he was going to take Haley's response as a yes. J.J. asked Haley what she had fought with Melinda about. Haley explained that her situation was complicated.
"Is it because she is the D.A. that she doesn't want people to know you are related? Are you some kind of master criminal?" J.J added, half joking. Haley frowned. Haley said that she was secretly a mob boss. Haley sarcastically added, "Great detective work. You should be a cop."
"I was," J.J. reminded Haley. "You did tell me that. And went on about how you shot a guy, and it turned out to be a really big mistake," Haley whispered. Haley asked J.J. if the shooting was why he was not a cop anymore. J.J. nodded yes. Haley noted that she needed to get dressed so that she could meet her counselor. J.J. told Haley that he hoped Haley would open up to Marlena. "Don't count on it. I'm only going so I won't lose my job," Haley said.
In the interrogation room of the police station, Melinda Trask left a message for Haley on her voicemail. Melinda apologized for kicking Haley out of her place. "Call me and let me know you're okay. But whatever you do, keep your mouth shut," Melinda concluded. Abe walked in as Melinda ended her call.
With narrowed eyes, Abe asked Melinda if she had badgered Abigail about her case against Gabi. Melinda proudly announced that she had done just that. "To be clear, I wasn't badgering anyone. I was simply encouraging Miss Deveraux to do her civic duty," Melinda corrected.
"Is it part of your job to intimidate a victim of crime, even threaten to go after her husband if she didn't do what you wanted?" Abe asked. Abe cautioned that Melinda had been out of line. Melinda argued that criminals needed to pay for their crimes. With a growl, Abe noted that Melinda's last high-profile arrest had been Gabi, who had been innocent of murdering Andre. Melinda countered that Gabi's arrest had been a product of an incompetent police force.
"The cops are constantly hunting down the wrong leads, turning a blind eye to friends and relatives, falling for manufactured evidence," Melinda recounted. Melinda argued that Hope had been a failure as a commissioner. "She is fixated on nailing Ben Weston, and she can't even do that right," Melinda complained. Abe yelled that Hope was working to protect the citizens. When Abe reminded Melinda that Ben was a serial killer, Melinda countered that the state had determined that Ben was no longer a threat.
"Whether you like it or not, he is one of your citizens, and he is being harassed. It is only a matter of time before this department gets sued. And when it does, you're the one that is going to be held accountable, Mayor," Melinda argued. Abe firmly stated that he stood behind Hope as his pick for commissioner. Melinda warned Abe to fire Hope for the sake of his poll numbers.
"I also appointed you. I expect you to work with Hope and not against her," Abe said. Melinda played dumb. Abe explained that he knew about Melinda's whisper campaign to undermine Hope. Abe warned Melinda to act as a team player, or she would be fired. As Melinda started to leave in a huff, J.J. arrived and asked to speak with her. "Not now," Melinda barked as she brushed past J.J.
In Marlena's office at the hospital, Haley met with Marlena for counseling. "On Christmas Eve, you tried to overdose on medication?" Marlena asked. Haley confirmed that was the case. Marlena asked Haley if that had been her first suicide attempt.
"Yes, and it will be the last," Haley stressed. Haley promised she had learned her lesson and did not need counseling. When Haley asked if Marlena would tell Kayla about their session, Marlena said no. Marlena explained that she needed to inform Kayla whether Haley was fit for work but would not detail what had been discussed during the session.
"So, you can start by telling me what's been so troubling for you. What led you to try to take your own life?" Marlena said. "I've already dealt with the issue of why I tried to commit suicide," Haley assured Marlena. Marlena countered that suicide was not something Haley could pretend had not happened.
"I see somebody who is so troubled, in so much pain. Struggling. I want you to know that I care about you. Maybe that's unprofessional. Maybe I shouldn't say that, but I do," Marlena said. Marlena offered to help Haley get through her situation.
"There is nobody that can help me," Haley said. Marlena urged Haley to give her a chance. Marlena added that vocalizing a problem could take away the problem's power. Haley worried aloud that she would make the problem worse if she talked about it. With a nod, Marlena assured Haley that she was safe and would not be judged.
"What you will find here is understanding and compassion. You can trust me. I promise," Marlena said. With tears in her eyes, Haley said, "I've kept this secret my entire life. Lived in constant fear of it coming out, and I just can't do it anymore. I'll tell you everything."
At Eric's apartment, Sarah surprised Rex with the news that Eric had gone to the Kiriakis mansion to confront Xander Cook, who had apparently survived the series of explosions in Nashville that had ultimately ended Nicole's life. "Eric holds Xander accountable for Nicole's death, [so] I'm just worried [about] what Eric might do," Sarah admitted. Rex felt confident that everything would be okay, but Sarah wasn't quite as sure of that -- and soon decided to head over to the Kiriakis mansion to try to defuse the situation. "I'm gonna come with you," Rex said. "Like hell you will. I don't need your help. I can do this on my own," Sarah spat before rushing off.
A short time later, Chloe showed up at Eric's apartment to pick up a stuffed animal that Holly had left there the previous day. Chloe was surprised to see Rex, who seized the opportunity to thank Chloe for having uncovered the truth about Emily's parentage. "As much as it turned my whole world upside down to find out I had a daughter, she's the best thing that ever happened to me...I mean, besides Sarah, but that's different, right?" Rex said. Chloe agreed that having a child was the best feeling in the world. "I know that Lucas started to feel that, [and] that's why I hated having to tell him that [Emily] wasn't his daughter," Chloe added with a sigh.
"So, what's your strategy?" Chloe asked after realizing that Rex had returned to Salem to try to win Sarah back. "Groveling's good," Chloe helpfully added, but Rex didn't want to do that. "My strategy is to just remind her that we were really great together, [and] that we were so in love, [and] that we had such a strong connection, [which] is still there, in spite of everything that's happened," Rex explained, adding that Eric was going to help.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Eric pinned Xander against a wall then grabbed a knife from the nearby bar and raised it to Xander's neck. "I know you let your morals slide a little bit on the adultery front, but somehow, I don't see you as a murderer, Eric," Xander said with an obvious lack of concern, prompting Eric to press the blade of the knife against Xander's neck. "Whoa, 'Father' -- what ever happened to turning the other cheek, eh?" Xander protested, getting a bit nervous. "Try turning yours and see what happens next," Eric replied, glaring at Xander. "[Besides], I tend to lean toward the Old Testament, so how 'bout 'take an eye for an eye,' huh?" Eric added.
"Well, come on -- if you're gonna do it, do it!" Xander impatiently challenged Eric, adding a few accusations of cowardice for good measure.
Before Eric could make a decision, Sarah burst into the mansion and began trying to defuse the situation. "You're not like this! You would never take somebody's life! You're not like him!" Sarah told Eric. "Yes, I am! He made me this way when he killed Nicole!" Eric replied, fighting back tears. "Do you think that [she] would want you to go to jail for murder? She wanted you to be there for her little girl!" Sarah argued. "Holly has Chloe," Eric pointed out. "But she needs you, too," Sarah countered. After giving the matter some thought, Eric hesitantly backed away from Xander then shakily tossed the knife aside and took a few deep breaths to calm down.
Xander, meanwhile, was already feeling quite relaxed again. "Cheers, babe. I owe you one," Xander said to Sarah with a flirtatious grin, prompting Eric to throw a punch. Eli -- whom Sarah had apparently called while en route to the mansion -- arrived while Xander was recovering from the blow. "Salem's starting to look like The Walking Dead," Eli mused with a shake of the head while staring at Xander in disbelief.
"I know Nashville's out of your jurisdiction, and it may be impossible to prove that [Xander's] responsible for Nicole's death, but he did shoot my mother..." Eric pointed out. "And we got the hard evidence to prove it," Eli agreed before beginning to handcuff Xander. "Wait, wait, wait -- I'm the one that was attacked here! [Eric] threatened me with a knife and then knocked me out cold!" Xander protested. "Which I didn't witness," Eli replied. "What I did see was a closed-circuit video of you shooting Dr. Marlena Evans. You're under arrest for attempted murder," Eli continued while escorting Xander out of the mansion.
Sarah prepared for a lecture from Eric about interfering in other people's business, but Eric was actually grateful to Sarah for having shown up at just the right moment to stop something bad from happening. "I'm sure that you would have done the right thing [either way]," Sarah insisted. "Does [this] make you wonder -- [you know], that if Xander survived, then maybe Nicole did, too?" Sarah asked. "My mind went there for a second...[but] there's no way that Nicole could have survived that explosion, [because unlike Xander], she was trapped in a confined area," Eric sadly replied. Eric hoped that Xander would soon be trapped in a confined area, too.
At the police station, Ted joined Stefan in one of the conference rooms. "[Your] arraignment is in less than an hour. I've been working all morning, preparing your defense," Ted began in lieu of a proper greeting. "Well, it better be something brilliant," Stefan replied. "Oh, it is," Ted promised. "Take a look at this," Ted proudly added, handing over a document that outlined the defense strategy.
"I had been assured that my head of security, Ben Weston, was completely rehabilitated...but -- totally unbeknownst to me -- he kidnapped a woman named Gabi Hernandez and held her prisoner overnight on my property. As soon as I found out, I immediately released her. I was about to explain the situation to the police when Detective Rafe Hernandez arrested me on unfounded charges of treason," Stefan read aloud from the document. "Really? This is your 'brilliant' defense -- you want me to lie to the judge? [Ben Weston] didn't act alone, [and] Gabi Hernandez can testify to that!" Stefan reminded Ted, tossing the document aside in disgust.
Ted insisted that Gabi's lack of credibility would prevent that from being an issue. "The police, the Feds -- everyone has been trying to put Ben Weston behind bars for years. If you help society get rid of that menace, you will be rightly rewarded. The cops get Ben, you go free -- everyone's happy," Ted added, but Stefan wasn't convinced. "Your defense is literally laughable, so unless you have a damn good plan B --" Stefan began. "I don't," Ted admitted. "Then you're fired," Stefan concluded. "Fine...[but] then your arraignment will be postponed again, [and] you'll have to spend another night in a cell, at least," Ted warned.
"[And] really, Mr. DiMera, what other good lawyer would jump at a chance to represent a client who has just been charged with treason and has no job to pay his legal bills?" Ted continued. "You sure as hell jumped at the chance, didn't you? And why is that? Why are you so eager to have me as a client? Oh, wait -- I know! [It's] so you can tank the case [and] put me behind bars [so] I'm not a threat to you anymore," Stefan countered. "I'm not stupid, Mr. DiMera. I learned my lesson. I'd rather work with you than against you," Ted insisted. "You're about to jump in shark-infested water, painted as a traitor for spying --" Ted began to add.
"I'm innocent!" Stefan maintained. "It's all about perception, and you well know that...which is why flipping on Ben Weston will go a long, long way," Ted replied. "With Hope Brady-Hernandez, right? Is that what this is about? I mean, she, uh -- she helped hide you when you got back to Salem, [so] is this you repaying her? Or is there, uh, something else going on between you two? Come on, who's better -- Kate or Hope? You can tell me!" Stefan teasingly asked Ted, who wasn't amused. "I will see you in court? Otherwise, Mr. DiMera, good luck," Ted pointedly stated before exiting the conference room, leaving the defense strategy behind.
Meanwhile, Ben went to Hope's office in search of information about Ciara, who had seemingly disappeared from Salem after their recent breakup.
Hope delighted in telling Ben that there was no reason to worry because Ciara had simply gone to South Africa to visit Theo Carver -- an old boyfriend who still held a special place in Ciara's heart. "She finally realized that she deserved better than a serial killer whose idea of reforming is to become a kidnapper," Hope assumed. "I never hurt Gabi, and I never would," Ben insisted. "Of course not! I am so sorry! What was I thinking? 'Cause you are such a stand-up guy, aren't you? Except when you are in one of your homicidal moods and decide that some people just don't deserve to live," Hope sarcastically replied.
Ted arrived a short time later, while Hope was further delighting in telling Ben that Stefan was in deep legal trouble -- and might be willing to turn on anyone in order to avoid a conviction. "What was he doing here?" Ted asked Hope after Ben left the office. "Proving that I made the right call when I asked you to represent his boss," Hope vaguely replied before changing the subject, wondering if Ted had managed to convince Stefan to turn on Ben. "I made a compelling case," Ted noncommittally assured Hope. "His options are pretty limited if he doesn't heed my advice," Ted added. Hope nodded and thanked Ted for the help.
Abigail was in the foyer of the Horton house, reading an online article about Stefan's arrest and Chad's subsequent return to DiMera Enterprises, when Kate began knocking on the front door.
Abigail started to sneak off to another room in the hope that Kate, who was visible through narrow windows on either side of the doorframe, would eventually leave if it seemed like no one was around to answer the door. "Abigail, I see you!" Kate impatiently called out, peering at Abigail through the same windows. Abigail sighed and reluctantly returned to the foyer. "Before you say anything --" Kate began when Abigail opened the door. Abigail slammed the door shut before Kate could say another word. Undeterred, Kate began knocking on the door again. Abigail eventually reopened it and wondered what could be done to get Kate to go away.
"Hear me out," Kate replied. "I don't want to hear anything you have to say," Abigail insisted. "Because you're furious with me," Kate guessed. "This goes way beyond me being mad at you," Abigail stressed. "Have you come to justify what you've done? Because you can't," Abigail added. "No excuses...although I do hope you understand that I did not like helping Gabi; in fact, I hated it, [and it only] happened because she was blackmailing me," Kate stressed. "[But] I understand [that] talk is cheap [and that] all these words must seem hollow to you, so...no more words -- only actions," Kate vowed.
"And I've already gotten started. [See], the DiMera board offered me the position of CEO of DiMera, and I turned them down [and] convinced them to hire Chad, because he is the true heir. I'm going to help him get back everything he lost...including the most important thing to him in the world, which is you," Kate continued. Abigail wasn't impressed. "I get that you want to make amends to make yourself feel better, Kate, but I can't help you out there, [because] some things are just not forgivable," Abigail insisted, adding that Kate should be more worried about making amends with Chad, anyway.
"I can live with [not having your forgiveness]...but for your sake [and] your children's sake, you need to forgive Chad," Kate advised Abigail before leaving the house.
Gabi went to the DiMera mansion to talk to Chad, who wasn't particularly thrilled to see her. "I'm here on business. [See], I heard that Stefan's in custody and that you are now CEO of DiMera, [and] DiMera Enterprise owns Gabi Chic," she explained. "How 'bout I liquidate Gabi Chic [and] watch your career go up in smoke?" he suggested. "You can't do that! Please --" she began to protest. "Oh, I can do that, and I will do that. I'm gonna wipe Gabi Chic off the map," he vowed. "[That's] my life and my livelihood!" she pointed out, adding that he wouldn't just be punishing her but also her daughter if he destroyed her company.
"Will and Sonny are gonna make sure that [Arianna] will want for nothing," Chad dismissively argued. "Except for a mother who's happy and fulfilled [and] setting an example that every child needs," Gabi countered. "You know, Abigail hurt people, too!" Gabi desperately added. "Abby was mentally ill! What's your excuse?" Chad spat. "So, just because I haven't been diagnosed with DID or whatever the hell she's got, that means I have to suffer?" Gabi asked incredulously. "I never wanted to hurt you," Gabi continued. "[And] I'm not trying to hurt you. This isn't about revenge. I just can't stomach the sight of you anymore," Chad replied.
Hope was eating lunch in the Horton Town Square when Ted approached. "How did the arraignment go? Did Stefan do it? Did he flip on Ben?" Hope asked excitedly. "There was no arraignment. [See], before I could present my defense, the federal prosecutor announced that he had someone else in custody," Ted revealed. "No!" Hope protested. "Yes. The head engineer [of the bionic eye technology] confessed, [so] Stefan DiMera was exonerated, and all the charges against him were dropped," Ted elaborated. "Stefan had to have gotten someone to take the fall for him," Hope grumbled. "DiMera gave me no indication [of that]," Ted replied.
Meanwhile, back at the DiMera mansion, Chad decided -- solely for Arianna's sake -- to let Gabi out of the contract with DiMera Enterprises instead of destroying Gabi Chic. Chad explained with a shrug that both ways of dealing with the problem were mainly about never having to deal with Gabi again, anyway. Gabi thanked Chad for choosing the kinder option. "I'll have to get it approved by the board, but that's just a formality," Chad said.
"Now that I have total executive control, I'm in charge, [and] Stefan's out of the picture," Chad continued. "Guess again, little brother," Stefan said while approaching the front of the mansion.
Rex entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Eric and Sarah in the middle of an embrace. "What, are you stalking me?" Sarah asked Rex with obvious annoyance while pulling away from Eric. "No, I came to see my brother. I was worried," Rex replied. "I'm fine now. [Sarah] got here just in time to talk some sense into me," Eric said. "The cops arrested Xander, and he should be looking at a nice, long stretch behind bars," Sarah added.
Rex thought that was cause for celebration, but Sarah wasn't interested. "I don't want to go anywhere with you ever again," Sarah spat, glaring at Rex. "It's just a couple of drinks. [Eric's] hurting right now, [so] he needs our help and our support, and he really shouldn't be alone right now," Rex argued as Eric listened awkwardly. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but...you're right. I think getting out of here for a little bit is a good idea," Sarah conceded after a moment of thought. "You two should go," Sarah quickly added, dashing Rex's hopes. "Eric, you can call me anytime. [Rex]...lose my number," Sarah added before walking away.
"God, she really hates me...[and] she really likes you," Rex said to Eric once the coast was clear. "Dude, you have got to do a better job of helping me out!" Rex added. "I don't think I have any sway," Eric evasively stated. "I beg to differ. You two have crazy chemistry. [I mean], you two barely know each other, [and she already] trusts you," Rex countered. "I need you to use that to my advantage!" Rex insisted.
Rex quickly realized that it was a bad time to ask Eric for such a favor. "I'm going on and on about trying to get back the woman that I love, [and] you just lost the woman that you love," Rex acknowledged with a groan of embarrassment before apologizing profusely for the callousness of the earlier comments. Eric understood that Rex was simply desperate to win Sarah back. When Sarah returned a short time later, Eric pointedly argued that it wouldn't be right to celebrate without the person who had ensured that the earlier incident with Xander had ended on a positive note. Sarah sighed and reluctantly agreed to humor Eric and Rex for one day.
Thrilled, Rex immediately led Eric and Sarah to the Brady Pub for drinks and darts. After a few rounds of each, Rex decided that it was time to try talking to Sarah privately. "Maybe when she comes back over, you can fake getting a text and, like, look at it and say, 'Oh, my God, it's urgent,' and then you can go," Rex said to Eric while Sarah was getting refills at the bar. "I know, I know -- you used to be a priest, and lying is a sin," Rex acknowledged when Eric didn't respond right away. "But what about 'love thy brother'?" Rex reasoned. "Okay, fine," Eric agreed after a moment of thought. "Awesome!" Rex exclaimed just before an oblivious Sarah returned.
At the police station, Eli and Lani discovered that the surveillance footage that tied Xander to Marlena's shooting had been deleted. "If [that] footage is gone..." Lani began to fret. "Xander walks," Eli concluded for Lani.
Meanwhile, in Abe's office, Sheila heard shouting. Seconds later, Abe stormed into the office, clearly upset about something. "You know, when someone makes a mistake, they should admit it and face the consequences!" Abe complained. "What'd I do now?" Sheila asked. "This has nothing to do with you," Abe assured Sheila. "I shelled out big bucks [for] two VIP tickets to Sade [for Valerie, who] was supposed to fly in from D.C., but she [just called] me to say [that] she got the dates mixed up, and she has to cancel because of work," Abe explained. "Now I'm stuck with these very expensive tickets," Abe added with a sigh of irritation.
"Maybe I can sell them online," Abe decided. "Are you crazy? Sade is, like, everything! You can't miss the chance to see her live!" Sheila protested. "I don't want to, but I'm not gonna go alone. Maybe you'd like to go with me...?" Abe replied. "Man, I'd kill to see Sade...[but] is that even allowed? [I mean], you're my boss, and you just asked me on a date," Sheila pointed out.
"You did what?" Lani asked, entering the office with Eli. Abe started to explain everything but quickly decided that the matter wasn't important enough to warrant such an effort. Changing the subject, Abe wondered if Lani and Eli needed something. Eli and Lani told Abe about the missing surveillance footage. Abe insisted that it couldn't possibly have been deleted. "The only people with access to the municipal server [are from] my office and the Salem P.D. -- although I did give login credentials to John Black," Abe said. "He was here the other day, asking for the footage you're talking about," Sheila casually interjected.
"I remember because you never see grade-A beefcake walking around here," Sheila continued. "John is good-looking..." Abe conceded. "Oh, please -- 'good-looking'? Try 'smoking hot with a capital S,'" Sheila argued, ending the statement with a sound effect that conjured an image of a sizzling grill. "And he had the sexiest accent," Sheila added, puzzling the others.
"You didn't ask for ID," Abe guessed with a groan. "How incompetent do you really think I am? I'm not a moron, [so] of course I asked for ID!" Sheila defensively replied, adding that, unfortunately, John had left all forms of identification at home and wouldn't have had time to drive there and back before the end of the business day. "[So], I gave him access to the footage -- [which you'd] already said that he could see, so what's the big deal?" Sheila asked, confused. "Is this the guy?" Eli wondered, producing a photograph. "Yeah, that's him -- John Black!" Sheila confirmed while staring at Xander's mug shot.
After Eli and Lani left, Abe began lashing out at Sheila, who explained with a shrug that Xander was good at using certain qualities -- such as a handsome face and a killer body -- to distract people into making mistakes.
"If you want to fire me, I totally understand...but I don't know how that's gonna look at HR," Sheila pointedly added. "I mean, first you ask me on a date, and I ask you if that [is] even allowed or okay, [and] then you fire me," Sheila elaborated, stunning Abe. "I didn't do anything wrong!" Abe protested. "Well, see, now, that's up to HR. I mean, I'll just tell my side of the story. Lani and Eli can back me up, because they heard me ask you if it was okay," Sheila countered. Abe sighed and started walking away. "Does that mean I'm not fired?" Sheila wondered. Abe didn't respond. "I'm still gonna need those tickets," Sheila insisted.
Abe tossed the tickets at Sheila then left the office in disgust. "I wonder who I'm gonna ask on a date so last-minute. Maybe 'John Black'..." Sheila mused with a chuckle.
Rafe entered the Horton Town Square and found Hope and Ted shaking hands. "What the hell is this?" Rafe asked suspiciously. "Mind keeping your hands off of my wife?" Rafe added, glaring at Ted. "This is the second time in as many days [that] I have walked in and caught you two doing this...'hands' thing!" Rafe pointed out. "Rafe!" Hope protested. "Maybe the detectives of the Salem P.D. would be a little bit more successful if they didn't jump to conclusions without any evidence," Ted mused. "What does that mean?" Rafe wondered. "It means that Stefan DiMera was cleared," Hope explained. "Of course he was," Rafe grumbled.
"How?" Rafe asked. "Someone else, uh, confessed to using Steve's bionic eye to steal classified documents," Hope elaborated. "Convenient," Rafe said with a shake of the head.
"Stefan had to have gotten that guy to take the fall for him," Hope insisted. "Of course he did," Rafe agreed. "[And] forgive me if I am having a hard time believing that this other person just happened to come forward right around the same time that this guy signed on to represent Stefan," Rafe added, glaring at Ted again. "Ted had nothing to do with this!" Hope insisted. "[Well], I had nothing to do with this new person coming forward...but, as Stefan's attorney, I will take full credit for having him released," Ted proudly clarified. Unamused, Rafe impatiently ordered Ted to leave. Ted apologized to Hope for the loss then rushed off.
Hope started to explain that the handshake with Ted had simply been an innocent acknowledgement that they were even, but Rafe was no longer thinking about that. "Stefan was dead in the water, [but] then you threw him a lifeline by hiring [Ted]!" Rafe snapped. "Once again, Ted is not the reason that Stefan walked. [Look], this is on the Feds. Obviously, they screwed up," Hope argued.
"I can't even believe this right now! You are so blinded!" Rafe complained. "I see exactly the kind of person Ted Laurent is!" Hope insisted. "I'm not even talking about Ted Laurent [anymore]! You are so damn obsessed with nailing Ben Weston, you're not even thinking about justice for my sister!" Rafe snapped. "I cannot believe that you think I'd be okay with letting a guilty man go free. I told you my endgame -- Ben and Stefan behind bars!" Hope countered. "Your endgame," Rafe grumbled. "I thought we were a team," Rafe added. "We are a team," Hope insisted. "It doesn't seem like it," Rafe argued.
"Let me just make myself perfectly clear right now, okay? I want Stefan DiMera to pay for everything that he has done [to] everyone -- to Steve, to Kayla, especially Abigail --" Hope stressed. "I notice you left Gabi off of that list," Rafe said before walking away with a scoff of disgust. "You didn't let me finish..." Hope grumbled, but Rafe was already out of earshot.
Hope soon returned to the police station and learned, during a conversation with Eli and Lani, that Xander had posed as John in order to delete crucial evidence. Hope immediately confronted Xander, who feigned ignorance.
"We have an eyewitness -- Sheila Watkins -- [and] she'll testify," Hope warned. "Is that all you have -- the word of an ex-con?" Xander asked with a laugh. "Good luck getting [the] charges to stick [if that's the case]. Also, when word gets out that neither the mayor's office nor the Salem P.D. could keep critical evidence from disappearing off a secure city server...[well], I think that's gonna be really embarrassing for everybody involved," Xander added as Eli and Lani entered the conference room. Hope sighed and grudgingly instructed Eli and Lani to release Xander.
"We're already working on recovering that deleted footage," Hope warned as Eli removed Xander's handcuffs. "Search away, gang, but, uh, I'm certain that footage does not exist," Xander dismissively replied before leaving.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan delighted in stunning Chad and Gabi with the news that the charges of treason had been dismissed. "I [already] have a call in to Shin [for] an emergency meeting with the board to reinstate me as CEO of DiMera, [so]...thanks for, uh, keeping my seat warm, Chad, but your time as head of this family is officially over," Stefan added while settling in a chair at the chess table. "I wouldn't bet on that. [I mean], even if you can convince the board that you're innocent -- which I highly doubt you are -- let's not forget what you've done. The board thinks you're poison," Chad countered. "Speaking of poison..." Stefan said, glaring at Gabi.
"What are you doing here?" Stefan demanded to know. "Business. [See], Chad decided to tear up my contract with DiMera and give me my company back," Gabi explained. "Over my dead body," Stefan vowed. "Don't worry about it. I'll call Shin. It's only gonna take two seconds to convince him and the rest of the board that reinstating [Stefan] as CEO is only gonna send the stock further into the tank," Chad assured Gabi.
Stefan laughed heartily as Chad exited the living room. "What is so funny?" Gabi wondered. "Eh, you know, Chad likes to parade himself around like he's, uh -- like he's a heavy hitter, [but] he's still learning to play the game. [I mean], he tries to compete, but I beat him every single time, [because] to be a champion, you have to, uh -- you have to see the whole board, and I'm always just a few moves ahead. That's how I know I'm gonna win," Stefan explained with a shrug while rearranging chess pieces. Fearing that Stefan was right, Gabi began pleading again for control of Gabi Chic, using the same arguments that Chad had heard earlier.
"[Gabi Chic] belongs to me. I started [it] from nothing, and I built it into a real brand," Gabi pointed out at the end of the plea. "[So], you're saying that I'm taking away your baby. Not your strongest argument," Stefan countered. "[It] means nothing to you!" Gabi protested. "But it means a hell of a lot to you, which is why I'm gonna hold onto it and destroy it, piece by piece, [just like] you took away everything that matters to me," Stefan replied with a shrug. Scowling, Gabi calmly walked over to the fireplace, picked up a fire poker, and swung it at the chess table, scattering its pieces. "Give me what's mine!" Gabi angrily demanded.
"Before you do anything stupid, think about your daughter," Stefan advised while backing away. "That is exactly who I am thinking about! [When] you threaten me, and then you threaten my livelihood, [that puts] my daughter's future at risk, [and] you're gonna stop terrorizing that little girl's mother right now!" Gabi countered, waving the fire poker threateningly. "Guess you don't care if you go to prison..." Stefan mused, dodging the makeshift weapon. "There is no one who would miss you if I put this metal through your skull!" Gabi dismissively argued. "He's not worth it," Chad insisted, rejoining Gabi and Stefan in the living room.
"Stefan's right. Everything's on hold until Shin can figure out which one of us is gonna run DiMera," Chad added, disappointing Gabi and amusing Stefan. "You are not gonna get away with this. You said the only way I'd get my company back was over your dead body. [Well], that works just fine for me," Gabi warned Stefan with a scowl before tossing the fire poker aside and storming out of the mansion. Unconcerned, Stefan began pouring a drink at the bar while dismissively ordering Chad to follow Gabi's lead. "I'm not going anywhere. You drove me out of this house once before. It's not gonna happen again," Chad insisted, angering Stefan.
Stefan gulped down the drink then tossed the empty glass at the fireplace. "I am done playing games with you!" Stefan snapped at Chad. "I'm taking back what's mine, and if you continue to get in my way, there will be blood!" Stefan added. Unimpressed, Chad made a point of getting in Stefan's way as Stefan tried to storm out of the living room. Stefan scowled and sidestepped Chad then continued walking away.
Gabi ran into Rafe while passing through the town square and seized the opportunity to ask about the circumstances that had led to Stefan's unexpected exoneration. "I don't know [how it happened]...but believe me when I tell you, I am as pissed off about it as you are," Rafe told Gabi before receiving a phone call. Gabi used the interruption as an excuse to rush off, ignoring Rafe's objections. Rafe sighed then greeted the caller -- Sami.
From his room at the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny called Will to complain about Leo's behavior. "I hate that I'm about to say this, but you know I never intended to kill Leo in the first place, but right now, I kind of wish I had," Sonny grumbled. Sonny asked Will if he had found any new information on Leo. Will told Sonny he was still working on it.
At the Brady Pub, Eric poured drinks for Rex and Sarah, who flirted over a game of darts. When Sarah asked Eric if he was up for another round, Eric thought about when Rex had asked him to fake an excuse and leave Rex alone with Sarah. Before Eric could answer Sarah, Eric's phone beeped with a text about Xander's release. Furious, Eric jumped to his feet and walked toward the door.
"Xander's been released from jail. I should have killed him when I had the chance!" Eric barked as he stormed out. Sarah ran after Eric, but Rex shouted for Sarah to stop. Sarah turned and faced Rex. "We can't just let Eric run off like that!" Sarah protested. When Sarah worried aloud that Eric might attempt to murder Xander, Rex stressed that Eric would not kill Xander. Suspicious, Sarah asked Rex why he was so certain.
"It wasn't real, Sarah. The text message. I asked [Eric] to pretend that he got a fake, urgent text message," Rex said. "You asked Eric to lie to me? Why?" Sarah asked. Rex admitted that he had wanted to spend time alone with Sarah. "More lying? That is just what I need," Sarah muttered.
"I know you're mad, I know you're still hurt, and I know you're not over any of it. Why the hell would you be? I don't blame you for that. I violated your trust, and you deserve better than that," Rex said. Rex added that he could not express how much he hated himself for hurting Sarah.
"I love you. I haven't stopped loving you. Not for a second. And I know you loved me," Rex said. "I loved you. With all of my heart. I wanted to be your wife but," Sarah said. Sarah sniffed back tears. Rex said he would regret his mistake for the rest of his life. "Two mistakes," Sarah corrected. Sarah asked who Rex had cheated with other than Mimi.
"Why does it matter who she was? It happened so long ago. It meant nothing to me," Rex said. "Then why not tell me who she is?" Sarah asked. Rex argued that he wanted to concentrate on the future. Sarah asked about Mimi. Rex said he wanted to be a father, but he was not interested in Mimi because he loved Sarah. Rex asked Sarah for a chance.
"Maybe I could think about giving you a chance under one condition," Sarah said. "Anything," Rex said eagerly. "Tell me the truth finally. Who was the other woman?" Sarah asked. Rex said he had moved on, but Sarah argued she had not. "This is your last chance. Just tell me the truth," Sarah said. Rex nodded yes.
"It was Noelle," Rex said. "The only Noelle that I know is...Oh, my God. The only Noelle that I know is...you slept with my sister?" Sarah asked in horror. Sarah asked when it had happened. Rex explained that it had happened when Noelle had visited but Sarah had been too busy at work. Rex explained that he and Noelle had been drinking and talking when it had happened. Sarah groaned.
"This is exactly what you told me about Mimi! Only at least she wasn't related to me!" Sarah yelled. "It was a terrible mistake. I know that," Rex whispered. Sarah asked Rex if he had knocked up her sister, as well. Rex explained that he and Noelle had been ashamed and had not spoken since. Sarah slapped Rex, then ran out. Rex ran after her. As Rex exited the pub, he ran into Chloe, who fell into his arms.
Rex apologized as he helped Chloe to a nearby bench. Chloe asked Rex why he had been in a hurry. Rex explained that he needed to find Sarah to apologize about something. "The thing with Mimi?" Chloe asked. "This is a lot worse than that," Rex admitted. Rex told Chloe about Noelle.
"You're an idiot for sleeping with her sister, but you're a bigger idiot for telling her the truth," Chloe observed. Rex argued that Sarah had offered him a second chance if he had been honest with her. "Well then you just make up a new truth so you don't destroy the woman on the spot!" Chloe argued. Rex asked if his relationship was over. Chloe countered that if she were Sarah, she would want to punish Rex "in the worst possible way."
"I've never seen [Sarah] that angry before. Not even about Mimi and the baby," Rex said. "I mean, you kind of doubled down on a girl's worst nightmare. You slept with her sister," Chloe pointed out. With a groan, Rex ran off.
In Doug's Place, John joined Marlena and told her that Xander was alive. "I can't say I'm terribly surprised. I assume he is in custody?" Marlena asked. With a scoff, John informed Marlena that the police had been forced to release Xander.
"I can't believe that animal is still walking around on the street," Marlena said. John argued that Xander needed to be punished. With a shake of her head, Marlena said she was not interested in revenge but worried about Eric.
Will arrived at the restaurant, and John invited Will to join them for dinner. With a shake of his head, Will asked John if he had any leads on Leo's past. John told Will that he had feelers out and would update Will soon. "I appreciate that," Will said. John's phone rang, and Will raised a hopeful eyebrow as John answered the call. After a chat with the caller, John informed Will that it had been Paul calling from a new phone number. John apologized for getting Will's hopes up.
As Will started to leave, John's phone beeped. "Paul again?" Will asked. John shook his head no. John announced that he had information and told Will about it. Will called Sonny and told him that he had information about Leo's mother. After Will left, Marlena thanked John for helping Will and Sonny.
At the police station, Eli apologized to Hope for Sheila's part in erasing the footage of Xander shooting Marlena. Hope blamed Xander instead of Sheila. With a groan, Hope complained that Xander was walking free. "I can't imagine the Kiriakis family is too happy about that," Eli said.
Rafe joined Eli and Hope in the bullpen. Rafe was confident that Xander would slip up soon enough and give the police a reason to arrest him again. Eli swore he would not rest until Xander was arrested. With a nod, Hope urged Eli and Rafe to stay focused on Xander. Rafe turned to Hope and asked to speak to her privately.
Once Rafe and Hope moved into the interrogation room, Rafe told Hope that Sami had called to tell him that E.J.'s recovery was not going well. "What does that have to do with you?" Hope asked. "The kids are struggling, too, so Sami was just thinking maybe I could help her out," Rafe explained. Clearly upset, Hope asked Rafe if he was leaving to be with Sami. Rafe clarified that he was leaving to be with the kids.
"Sami snaps her fingers, clicks her heels, and you go running. Again," Hope said through gritted teeth. "It is not about Sami. It's about the kids, especially Johnny," Rafe explained. When Hope reminded Rafe that Lucas was there for the kids, Rafe countered that Lucas was busy with Allie. Hope asked about Sami's family. Rafe noted that he and Johnny had been close.
"Sami thinks that I'm the only one that can pull him out of it right now," Rafe said. Hope said she felt bad for Johnny. "So, you understand then?" Rafe asked. "I understand that you care about Johnny. That you're a kind person. But Rafe, you just recently slept with her," Hope argued. Hope said she was not comfortable with the idea that Rafe would be with Sami. Hope added that she did not know how Rafe could expect her to be okay with the idea.
"I need you!" Hope shouted. "It seems like the only person that you need is Ted Laurent!" Rafe countered. Hope argued that Rafe was being unfair. "Ciara finally came to her senses," Hope said. Hope argued that it was time for her and Rafe to concentrate on their relationship, since Ciara was safe.
"So, you're asking me not to go?" Rafe asked. "If you love me as much as you say you do, then you will stay here with me. Please stay here with me. Please," Hope pleaded quietly. Rafe agreed that he wanted to concentrate on their relationship, but he stressed that Johnny needed him, too. "I feel like I need to help him," Rafe said. Hope asked Rafe to see the situation from her point of view.
"I picture you and Sami together and sharing meals together and getting closer and having sex. I see you having sex with her, Rafe," Hope said. Hope argued that with Sami and Rafe's histories, it was upsetting to think about them together. Rafe said he understood.
"I love you more than anything in this world, and this marriage is the most precious thing to me," Rafe said. Rafe told Hope that he was sorry if his trip hurt Hope, but Johnny needed him.
"You've already made your decision. It doesn't matter how I feel," Hope said through tears. "I don't want to leave you like this. You have to know that this isn't a choice between you or Sami; it's not about our marriage or how much I love you," Rafe said. Hope fought back tears and wished Rafe a safe trip.
In the bullpen, an enraged Eric stomped in and yelled at Eli for releasing Xander. "We had no choice. There is no evidence," Eli explained. When Eric asked how the video had been deleted, Eli said IT was working to recover the footage. Eric added that Xander was the cause of Nicole's death. Eli reminded Eric that the events in Nashville were out of the Salem Police Department's jurisdiction.
"[Nashville] is not going to charge him! This is what he does! He ruins people's lives and he gets away with it. And he is going to continue to do it until somebody stands up to him and stops it!" Eric yelled. As Eric started to leave, Eli stopped him. Eli insisted on escorting Eric home to his apartment to make sure that Eric did not do anything rash.
Once at Eric's home, Eric told Eli that he would not attack Xander because he did not want to go to prison again. Eli assured Eric that he would do whatever he could to make sure that Xander would pay for his crimes. After Eli left, Eric settled down on the couch. Sarah burst into Eric's apartment.
"Don't you ever do that to me again! You scared the hell out of me!" Sarah yelped. Confused, Eric asked Sarah what she was talking about. "Lie for Rex," Sarah explained. Eric told Sarah that Rex had asked him to lie, but he had not lied about the text message. Eric promised he was not interested in tracking down Xander because Sarah had made him see that he had too much to live for to throw it all away.
"How did it go with Rex?" Eric questioned. "Don't ask," Sarah said. Eric reminded Sarah that Rex loved her. "He loves me so much he slept with my sister," Sarah said. Eric's mouth fell open in shock. "I just want Rex to know what it feels like to have people you love betray you!" Sarah growled. Sarah grabbed Eric and kissed him. Eric pushed Sarah away.
"Stop before we do something we regret," Eric whispered. "No. I'm not going to regret it, and I don't think you are, either," Sarah said. Sarah noted that there was a connection between them, and Eric agreed. "You're in pain, Eric, and I am, too. Don't you want the pain to go away, Eric? Cause I know I do," Sarah said. Sarah kissed Eric again, and this time, he did not resist. Eric moved Sarah onto the couch.
In the Kiriakis living room, Leo returned home with his arms full of shopping bags. Victor glowered at Leo from his chair by the fire. Leo asked about Xander. "Xander's in jail. Where he belongs. And I hope he spends the rest of his miserable life there," Victor said.
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm back," Xander purred as he triumphantly walked into the living room. Victor asked what had happened. With a smirk, Xander said the police had lost their evidence. Xander reminded Victor that Titan still needed a CEO. Victor narrowed his eyes at Leo.
"I'd as soon not discuss business in front of this money-grubbing blackmailer. Especially when he is ogling you like a bitch in heat," Victor said. Leo laughed nervously. Xander politely asked Leo to leave. "I'm a part of this family, too," Leo protested. Xander promised to visit Leo as soon as he was done speaking to Victor. Reluctantly, Leo left. Xander shut the door and turned his attention to Victor.
"Look, I know you are nervous that Chad knows everything about Titan from the inside, but I can cut him off at the knees with the information I have on DiMera," Xander promised. "You may have the inside dirt on DiMera, but you're still the same selfish, incompetent sociopath you always have been. You can take your deal and shove it," Victor growled. Furious, Xander stormed out. In the foyer, Xander saw Leo. Xander asked Leo if he had been listening at the door.
"Victor turned down your deal, huh? Maybe it is time for you to reconsider mine," Leo said. Leo noted that Sonny was not home. "While the cat is away, you and I should play," Leo whispered. Leo noted that Xander's information was not enough to sway Victor into appointing Xander as CEO. Leo added that his information would be enough.
"Must be pretty monumental if it was enough to force Sonny to marry you," Xander said. "The scandal would bring down Titan for good. If you were armed with what I have, he would have no choice but to hand you the job," Leo said. Leo touched Xander's shoulder and said, "All you would have to do is share everything with me."
"Fine. You win. Whatever you want," Xander said grudgingly. Leo appeared surprised by Xander's answer. "You're really going to sleep with me? This isn't some kind of cruel joke?" Leo asked. Xander told Leo to meet him in his room in ten minutes. Leo said he needed time to prepare, but Xander warned Leo to hurry up before he changed his mind.
"And bring alcohol. I'm going to need a stiff drink if I'm going to go through with this," Xander said as he started to stomp sullenly up the stairs. "Oh, I'm going to bring something stiff," Leo joked. Xander stopped walking for a moment then continued onward.
As Victor sat by the fire in the living room, Sonny walked in from the kitchen. Victor groused that Leo was in the foyer, likely chasing after Xander. "Well, at least Xander is pulling Leo's attention away from me," Sonny remarked. Victor said he was eager to crush Leo. Sonny told Victor that he had a promising lead on a way to destroy his husband.
Upstairs, Xander undressed in his room. Leo arrived, clad in a bathrobe, and he popped open a bottle of Champagne. "Careful. Don't pop your cork too soon," Xander joked. Leo promised that he would take his time and savor the experience. When Leo remarked that he had opened Champagne because it was romantic, Xander corrected Leo and noted that the situation was a business transaction.
"That doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself," Leo said as he locked the door. Leo explained that he wanted to make sure no prying eyes secured any leverage against him. "Especially not when you're the one with all the leverage," Xander pointed out. "It's a fun position to be in. Power is a turn-on, isn't it?" Leo asked. Leo hopped on the bed and told Xander not to keep him waiting.
"I have to admit, I underestimated you. It's quite impressive what you pulled off here," Xander commented. Leo admitted that he had struggled and paid his dues. With a twinkle in his eye, Xander leaned over Leo and whispered, "What do you have on him? I'm dying to know."
"I'm starting to wonder whether or not you're actually going to go through with this," Leo said. Xander glanced over at the Champagne and walked over to grab the glasses. Xander handed a glass to Leo. "To business," Xander said. "To pleasure," Leo countered. Xander drained his glass, and Leo started to massage Xander's neck. Xander asked Leo what was next.
"You just relax, enjoy it, and I'm going to do all the heavy lifting. And I promise you won't regret it," Leo said. Leo lunged at Xander, kissed him, and pushed him back onto the bed.