Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of May 13, 2024 on DAYS

E.J. paid Leo to keep quiet about Jude. The police confirmed that Gil's fingerprint was in Li's blood on the black book, but E.J. refused to reopen the case. Tate convinced Holly not to dump him. Theresa and Alex got back together, but he continued his fling with Kristen. Chad learned Abigail had been working on a story about the drug trade. Maggie laid a trap for Konstantin. Xander and Sarah got engaged. Jada asked Steve for help. Paulina fired E.J. Nicole had a drunken kiss with Eric after she fought with Holly. Ava told Steve that they needed a permanent solution for Clyde.
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E.J. paid Leo to keep quiet about Jude. Chad learned Abigail had been working on a story about the drug trade. Maggie laid a trap for Konstantin. E.J. refused to reopen Li's murder despite new evidence.
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Rafe gets a major break in Li's murder

Rafe gets a major break in Li's murder

Monday, May 13, 2024

In the park, Eric consoled Nicole about her fight with Holly. He assured Nicole that Holly did not hate her mother, but Nicole remained upset. Later, as Nicole and Eric awaited a contact, they heard groaning. They were alarmed to find a man facedown behind the park bench. Eric knelt, said the man "reeked of booze," and turned him over. Eric and Nicole were surprised to see Leo.

Later, Leo roused to Eric putting him into bed. Leo made a crack about "Zaddy" tucking him in again, and Eric updated a perplexed Nicole about Leo's previous drunken escapade. Nicole asked Leo what had happened, and Leo bemoaned his "Dear John" letter from Dimitri. She tried to comfort Leo with the idea that he would find love again, like Eric and she had. Leo thought the "two lovebirds" were kidding themselves.

Leo began rambling about doing the wrong thing in order to do the right thing. He then launched into a story about being catfished on a date and escaping through a bathroom window. Eric and Nicole were thoroughly confused, especially after Leo claimed he wanted to make Nicole happy without hurting Eric in the process. Confused by Nicole's bewilderment, Leo asked Nicole if E.J. had told her yet. Before Nicole could clarify what Leo was talking about, he passed out.

To Eric and Nicole's frustration, they could not rouse Leo and agreed to let him sleep it off. Later, Nicole and Eric shared coffee in Horton Town Square. They toasted to their friendship.

Sloan talked to a sleeping Jude in his bassinet and stressed over being alone while Eric was off with Nicole. Someone knocked on the apartment door. When Sloan answered, she was greeted by a grim-looking E.J. As E.J. entered, Sloan immediately asked him if he had gotten the DNA results. With a sigh, E.J. sat on the bed and picked up Jude's toy.

E.J. confirmed Sloan hadn't been lying, "at least not this time." Sloan wanted to know what E.J. was going to do with the information about Jude's parentage. E.J. said he hadn't decided yet, but he was curious about how Sloan had pulled the switch off. He believed she had to have had help. Sloan claimed she had acted alone, to which E.J. snarked it was "quite the accomplishment."

Sloan told E.J. about how Dimitri had appeared at her door with the baby. She had considered it "a second chance" after the miscarriage and a sign that she was "meant to be a mother." She detailed how Dimitri had looped Leo into the lie. E.J. was enraged that his nephew would choose his "weasel lover" over his family. Sloan asked E.J. what he had planned for Leo.

E.J. assured Sloan that Leo would be fine. E.J. simply planned to take Leo for "a nice little drive in the desert." At Sloan's alarm, E.J. claimed he was kidding. E.J. believed that if he didn't tell his wife "the happiest news of her life" and left her child with an "amoral kidnapper," then that would make him an "amoral bastard." Sloan needled E.J. about Nicole going back to Eric if Nicole learned the truth, and Sloan reassured E.J. about keeping quiet with the notion that Nicole had begun to accept her child's death and move on.

E.J. suggested to himself that he could take Jude to Nicole and pass the boy off as his and Nicole's son. Sloan guessed E.J. wouldn't want to raise Eric's son, especially since the child would eventually look like and act like Eric. She again pushed the idea of "letting sleeping dogs lie" as the best solution. Sloan then pleaded with E.J. not to take the child she loved away from her and away from the only home Jude had ever known. E.J. considered her words as he handed back Jude's toy.

Later, E.J. had arrived at Leo's apartment and reminded Leo, who was awake, that Leo had answered the door for him. E.J. was alarmed when Leo wondered where Nicole and Eric had gone. After finding a leaf in his hair, Leo was able to remember that the duo had brought him home. Leo further recalled that he had wanted to tell them the truth about Jude but had not gotten to the confession. Leo questioned why E.J. seemed relieved at the news, but he stopped in his tracks when E.J. held a phone up to his face.

E.J. commanded Leo to never "breathe a syllable" about Jude. Leo's eyes widened as he took in the "falling accidently off a yacht and drowning" amount of money that was displayed on the phone. E.J. confirmed that the money would be Leo's if Leo kept his mouth shut. Leo envisioned his life as a rich man "yelling at personal assistants" and "pretending to like skiing" but was torn between the money and being "a person of integrity."

Leo caved and pushed the button on the phone that transferred the funds into his bank account. E.J. promised Leo a "carefree life full of jet-setting and decadence" if Leo kept his word. But if Leo failed to uphold the bargain, E.J. warned, "I will make sure you don't have a life." Leo sputtered that he understood. E.J. chuckled and added an "excellent."

Everett and Stephanie arrived at the Brady Pub, fresh from a few rounds of pickleball. Stephanie joked about "wiping the floor" with Everett during their singles matchup, while Everett lightly reminded her about bouncing the ball off an opponent's head in the midst of their doubles game. Stephanie's leg began cramping, so Everett offered her a massage, which she accepted with a smile.

As Stephanie and Everett mulled over their menus, Stephanie fondly remembered their first date when Everett and she had gotten caught in a rainstorm with a broken umbrella. Everett had eaten suspicious-looking hot dogs from a vendor and had ended up with food poisoning for days. Everett said he had wanted to kiss Stephanie badly that day but had backed off because he had felt it had been too soon.

Stephanie and Everett chatted with ease about past dates, including a movie she had loved but he had found long and boring. She thanked him for introducing her to a card game and challenged him to a match. Their good time was interrupted, however, when the woman Everett had hit on previously approached the table. She waved to "Bobby" with a suggestive smile and strode away.

Everett took a quick drink when Stephanie inquired about the woman. He claimed he didn't know the woman and suggested she might have been an old acquaintance from his time in Seattle. Stephanie, not looking totally convinced, remarked, "Small world." A distracted Everett agreed.

Stephanie encouraged Everett to talk with the woman and find out how she knew him, but Everett dismissed the idea. He changed the subject and asked Stephanie out for a dinner date in Chicago. Stephanie accepted and left. Everett then hesitantly approached the woman at the bar. He asked the woman when they had met.

The woman scoffed and told Everett they had had drinks together two days prior. Everett mentioned that she had called him Bobby. The woman, taken aback, said she would have a drink elsewhere and departed, muttering "weirdo" under her breath. Everett appeared puzzled.

At the police station, Rafe updated Jada on the tests run on Clyde's book. The analysis had confirmed that blood had been on the cover, but tests were still being conducted on the blood itself. The code-breaking attempts had proven unsuccessful, however. Jada had been perusing cold case files. She expressed renewed determination to bring Clyde to justice. She lamented how unsolved mysteries and a lack of closure could haunt someone.

Rafe asked Jada what had been haunting her, and she admitted it was Bobby. More specifically, Jada recalled how, when they had first met, Bobby had approached her about finding his mother. Bobby had informed Jada that his mother had disappeared one day, and his father had claimed she had left the family. The mystery had always weighed heavily on Bobby.

Rafe was surprised that Jada had gone into such detail about Bobby "in an empathetic way" because she had previously spoken so negatively about him. He believed Jada and Bobby had to have experienced some good times together. Jada acknowledged that when she'd first met Bobby, he had presented himself as "kind, intelligent, and incredibly witty," but he had not ultimately been the man she had thought him to be. She was thankful to have found "someone I love with all my heart" in Rafe. She accompanied her declaration with a loving kiss.

Later, Rafe showed Jada a cold case from 1992 involving a woman wearing an argyle sweater who had been found dead in the woods. No family or friends had come forward to identify the woman. Jada looked over the file with interest while Rafe took a phone call. When he hung up, he informed Jada that Gil's fingerprint had been discovered on Clyde's book. He also told a shocked Jada that the blood had been identified as Li Shin's.

Over the phone, Rafe updated Harris about the development. After Rafe ended the call, he confirmed to Jada that they had to prove that Gil, not Gabi, had murdered Li.

Kristen hosted Ava for tea and carrot sticks at the DiMera mansion. Kristen reminisced about Ava and her friendship, but Ava wasn't having it. Ava wanted to know why Kristen had really invited her over. Kristen feigned offense that Ava believed she had ulterior motives but eventually fessed up that she wanted Ava's help with uncovering Li's murderer.

Ava insisted that other than living in the apartment where Li had been murdered, she knew nothing about the case. Kristen reminded Ava that two killings had taken place in the apartment within days of each other, and Kristen believed the events had been more than a coincidence. She pressed to know if Ava had withheld anything from the police. Kristen's insinuation irked Ava, and Ava stated with increasing irritation what had happened the night she had killed Gil.

Kristen then prodded Ava about Stefan's association with Clyde and implied Ava might have had knowledge of the drug operation, which further agitated Ava. Kristen backed off and claimed she had only been looking out for her brother. She assured Ava that they were "on the same page." Ava calmed down and let Kristen know that if she had any information on Li's murder, she would share it. Ava "thought the world" of Li's sister and wanted to help, but she didn't know anything about the man's death.

Later, Ava ended a phone call with Harris. Ava, with a contemplative look, told Kristen it was coincidental that Kristen had wanted to talk about Li because she had just received new details about his case from Harris. Ava informed a pleased Kristen that Kristen had been right about Gabi not killing Li. Kristen guessed that Ava knew who had committed the crime. Ava affirmed, "Yes, I do."

Theresa pours out her heart to Alex

Theresa pours out her heart to Alex

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

At school, Tate asked Holly to have lunch with him. "Maybe another time," Holly said. "Is everything okay?" Tate asked. Holly explained that she was stressed with homework, but Tate asked if there was more to the story. Holly admitted that she was embarrassed about the public fight between her and Nicole. "Why would you be embarrassed? No, I just hated seeing you so upset and not being able to do anything about it. Have you had any luck changing her mind?" Tate asked. With a shrug, Holly noted that her mother still worried that she would do drugs if she went to prom.

"She's forbidding me from going," Holly said. "I get it. My mom can be really controlling, too," Tate said. Tate asked Holly if she had talked to Aaron, and she shook her head no. "I doubt he'll care, since he is totally into Sofia, who is totally into you," Holly said. Tate scoffed. Sophia walked up and said hello. Tate stammered that he had been asking Holly for help with Spanish.

"Except I suck at [languages]," Holly said. "I'm pretty good at them, actually, so I can even tutor you if you want," Sophia said. Tate accepted Sophia's offer. When Sophia offered to meet that afternoon, Tate declined by noting that he had previously agreed to help out at the pub. "How's your nose doing, by the way?" Tate asked. Sophia confirmed that it was a little sore, but not broken. Tate apologized again.

"It's okay. It was an accident. Anyway, I'm sure it'll all be cleared up by prom, which I am so looking forward to. And I'm really glad you'll be taking me, Tate," Sophia said. Tate smiled at Sophia as Holly averted her eyes. The bell rang, and Sophia told Tate she would see him later for tutoring. After Sophia walked away, Tate told Holly that he felt terrible that he had agreed to be Sophia's date for prom.

"Why? You know she's, like, super thrilled to be going with you," Holly said. "Yeah, but I'm not thrilled to be going with her," Tate countered. Tate noted that Sophia was cool, but he did not want Sophia to get the wrong idea. Holly advised Tate to be honest with Sophia about his feelings. "Besides, it's not like she gave you much of a choice, you know, when you hit her face with that ball," Holly said. Tate noted that unless they told Sophia about his and Holly's secret relationship, Sophia might be hurt that he was not into her.

"I have to admit, I'm actually glad that you're going to the prom with Sophia," Holly said. "What?" Tate said. Holly argued that she wanted Tate to give Sophia a chance. Tate was taken aback. "No! I don't want to give her a chance. I want to be with you," Tate protested.

"I want to be with you, too, but I don't know, Tate, it's kind of starting to feel like maybe this just isn't meant to be, you know?" Holly said. Confused, Tate asked Holly if she wanted to break up. "It's not that I want to, it's just, maybe it's for the best," Holly said. Tate disagreed. "It's the last thing that I want," Tate stressed. Holly asked Tate not to make things harder.

"I guess I just don't understand why you're giving up on us. I don't want to be with anybody else but you. And I have all these feelings for you. Feelings that I've never had for anybody, I swear. Holly, I --" Tate said. The bell interrupted. Tate cradled Holly's face in his hands, and he kissed her. As Tate pulled away, Holly smiled up at him, calmed.

"I want you to stop worrying about what is best for me, because this is what's best for me, okay? Being with you," Tate said. "Being with you is what's best for me, too. I just hate how complicated it's gotten. And that it's all my fault," Holly countered. Tate told Holly not to blame herself. "As long as I have you, I swear I can handle anything," Tate stressed. Holly kissed Tate goodbye. After Holly ran off, Tate whispered, "Maybe there is a way."

Theresa returned home and found a living room full of boxes. Alex exited the bedroom and explained that he had done some shopping. "What's the point of having money if you can't enjoy it?" Alex asked. Theresa agreed. "I just thought you were going to be at work," Theresa said. Alex explained that he could make his own hours, since he was the boss. Alex talked about the items he had purchased, and he showed Theresa his $10,000 diamond-encrusted watch.

"I got you the matching women's version," Alex said. Alex gave Theresa the watch, and she gasped. With a grin, Alex started to talk about the Ferrari he had ordered. "If Victor was ever looking for a way to make it up to me for denying my birthright all these years, I think he definitely found a way to do it. So, I'm trying to let go of any resentment I have toward my father," Alex said. With a nod, Theresa said that was good.

"You know how I felt when I first found out I was Victor's son. Even knowing I might become heir to this whole massive fortune, or whatever, I was miserable. I was depressed. Knowing Justin wasn't really my father. A guy that I actually loved and respected, my brothers not really being my brothers, and knowing that I was pretty much lied to my entire life, I just still haven't totally gotten over the shock of that. And the sadness. Still upsets the hell out of me, if I'm being honest with you," Alex said. Theresa nodded, unsure what to say.

Alex looked heavenward and told Victor, "I forgive you, Dad." As Alex started to open packages, Theresa asked him if he planned to spend all his money rather than start a trust fund for his future heirs. "I'm actually not even sure I'm going to have kids," Alex said. Alex explained that he did not feel like the fatherly type. "But what about carrying on Victor's legacy and his name?" Theresa asked. With a shrug, Alex noted that there were plenty of Kiriakis men in the world.

The doorbell rang with another delivery. "I don't think you can fit that much more stuff in here," Theresa said. "None of this stuff is staying here. It's coming with me when I move to the mansion," Alex said. Shocked, Theresa asked, "You're moving out?" Alex confirmed that once the Hortons vacated the Kiriakis mansion, he planned to move back in. As Theresa stared in horror, speechless, Alex asked her if she would miss him.

"If you are worried about finding another place to live, especially now with the whole job situation, do not think about it for another second. You stay here as long as you want. I'll continue to pay the rent," Alex offered. Theresa grimaced. "Oh, my God, Alex! You don't get it, do you?" Theresa yelled. Confused, Alex asked Theresa what she meant.

"I don't want to live here without you," Theresa said. Alex admitted he was surprised. "I like being with you. I like living with you. I want to be together with you, like, really together," Theresa confessed. "Now I'm genuinely confused," Alex said. Theresa apologized for the mixed signals. With a sigh, Theresa admitted that she had never stopped wanting to be with Alex.

"So, you never wanted to break up in the first place?" Alex asked. "No! I never wanted that," Theresa said. Theresa explained that she had been hurt and embarrassed by the proposal situation, and she had overreacted. "I tried to just act like I didn't want to have anything to do with you by rejecting you," Theresa said. Alex noted that Theresa had ignored him for days. Theresa said she regretted how she had acted.

"I was just trying to play hard to get. You know, I really just wanted you to miss me like crazy. I was hoping that maybe you'd see the errors in your ways, and then you'd beg me to come back to you. But that didn't happen, obviously. And I just played a very risky game, and it just totally backfired in my face," Theresa confessed. Theresa said that she knew she had made a huge mistake.

"I'm not going to play any more games. I promise. Just please, tell me it's not too late," Theresa said. After a moment of silence, Theresa asked Alex if he had anything to say. "I need to know that you still want me. I want to know that you still miss being with me," Theresa said. "I'm kind of thrown by what you just said, to be honest, and I'm just feeling kind of confused," Alex stammered. Theresa grabbed Alex and kissed him. "Shut up and make love to me," Theresa said. Theresa undressed Alex, as he kissed her passionately.

Brady returned home to the penthouse. "How was your trip?" Marlena asked. Brady said he had been busy on his work trip, but he was eager to focus on his kids and parents. "You've always been a mother to me, Marlena. You are my mom in every sense of the word, and I don't know what I would do without you," Brady said. Brady wished Marlena "happy Mother's Day," and he gave her a bottle of her favorite perfume.

"I need to be thanking you more often. I haven't always been grateful. I haven't. But I'm so grateful to you now for everything you've done for me and my kids and my dad," Brady said. Brady told Marlena that it was a blessing how happy Marlena had made John. Brady and Marlena sat on the couch and talked about his trip. Brady noted that he had had more fun on his last trip to Chicago when he had gone with Rachel on a school trip.

"It's amazing how much that little girl can change in a week," Brady said. Brady and Marlena agreed that Rachel was smart and precocious. "I wish you had more time with her. I mean, I wish you had shared custody," Marlena said. Brady agreed, and he admitted that it bothered him that Alex got to spend more time with Rachel than Brady did. Marlena told Brady that she did not believe that Kristen and Alex's relationship was serious.

"I didn't think they were, either, but I'm beginning to wonder, because unless it's a pure act, they're really demonstrative with each other. It's ugh," Brady said with disgust. Marlena asked what Theresa thought about Alex's new relationship. "She doesn't like it at all. And you know what? I don't, either," Brady admitted. Brady told Marlena that Alex was a poor role model for Rachel. Marlena disagreed.

With a shrug, Brady said he did not like the idea of any man spending more time with Rachel than he did. "And if he starts spending more time with Rachel than I'm allowed to, that's not going to sit well with me," Brady complained. Marlena urged Brady to talk to Alex about his concerns. Brady explained that he had already talked to Alex, and Alex had said he had no interest in being a father figure.

"You're sounding a little threatened to me. As if you think that the more time he spends around Rachel, it will interfere with the time that you have with her," Marlena said. Brady agreed. "It's not like Rachel has said much about Alex, which leads me to believe that they haven't been spending a lot of time together," Brady said. Brady agreed to back-burner his fears on the issue, and he changed the subject. Marlena told Brady that Tate had picked up a tuxedo for the prom.

Brady said he looked forward to seeing Tate dressed up. "I'm also very happy about the fact that he is moving on from Holly," Brady added. Marlena agreed it was good that Tate was attempting to move on. Brady told Marlena that Theresa had watched Holly scream at Nicole in public.

"I'm sorry to hear that. But I do understand that Nicole would be reluctant to have her go, especially after what happened on New Year's Eve," Marlena said. Brady noted that it was probably for the best, since there was a lot of peer pressure to drink on prom night. With a chuckle, Brady talked about when he had chaperoned the Last Blast dance, and he had sworn to never have kids.

"Well, you broke that little promise. And I'm so glad you did," Marlena said with a laugh. "I'm glad I did, too. Because I love those kids," Brady said. Brady asked Marlena if she could sign as a witness on some papers to set up a trust fund for his kids. Marlena took the papers, and her eyes went wide.

"Maggie was generous enough to share some of the wealth from Victor's will to the relatives that were seemingly cut out of it," Brady explained. "This will take very good care of Rachel and Tate's future," Marlena noted. Brady said that he had everything he needed, and he was happy Maggie had provided enough to take care of his children and grandchildren.

"[I'm curious] about how Konstantin is going to feel about Maggie distributing all this wealth around," Brady said. Brady asked Marlena if she believed that Konstantin was after Maggie's money. "I do. I just hope that Maggie is smarter than that," Marlena said. With a shake of his head, Brady noted that he did not like Konstantin. "I don't like this guy, either," Marlena agreed.

At the police station, Rafe and Jada marveled at the fact that Clyde's black book had Gil's fingerprints and Li's blood on it. "This changes everything," Rafe said. "But how do we prove [Gil is connected to Li's murder]?" Jada countered. Rafe promised to do whatever it took to get to the truth and clear Gabi's name. Rafe suggested that they should pull both Gil and Li's murder case files, since they knew there was a connection.

In the Bistro, Kristen rushed up to Stefan and told him that she had news for him. "I found a lead in Li Shin's murder. And we might have enough evidence to pin the crime on the guilty party, which is definitely not Gabi," Kristen said. Kristen explained that Gabi would soon be a free woman. "Wow," Stefan whispered in disbelief. Kristen told Stefan about her visit with Ava and that Harris had confirmed that Gil's fingerprint was in Li's blood.

"Do you realize what that means?" Kristen asked. "Yeah, it means that Gil is likely Li's murderer and not Gabi," Stefan said. Confused, Stefan wondered aloud why Gil would have wanted to kill Li. "They didn't even know each other," Stefan said. "Not that Ava was aware of," Kristen countered. Kristen theorized aloud that Gil had been waiting for Ava, but Li had returned home instead.

"And Gil, who wants to keep things clean, killed Li," Kristen suggested. "[So, Gil] never really intended to kill Li?" Stefan said. Kristen nodded yes. "Wrong place at the wrong time," Kristen said. After a moment, Stefan asked Kristen how they could prove that Gil was the real killer. "Reasonable doubt. I mean, that's all we need," Kristen said. Stefan chuckled. Kristen cleared her throat, and she pointed out that Rafe and Jada had entered the restaurant.

"What now?" Stefan growled. Rafe asked for a list of all the employees that had worked at the Bistro when Gil had been around. "Starting with when Li Shin was killed. Don't make me get a warrant," Rafe said. "If this has anything to do with the blood on the black book, you can have whatever you want," Stefan said. Rafe asked Stefan how he had known about the book. Stefan reminded Rafe that he had found the book and turned it in to the police, and he noted that Harris had filled him in on it.

"Commissioner, this is what we want, right? My wife free, your sister, free? You and I we're finally on the same side here. So, yeah, whatever you need, I'm willing to help in any way I can," Stefan said. With a nod, Rafe asked for the personnel records. Stefan escorted the police into the office.

When Stefan returned to the main room, Kristen told Stefan that she hoped the police did not find anything else to pin onto Stefan. "I run a clean business. Now," Stefan said. "I guess it's better late than never," Kristen joked. Stefan told Kristen that he looked forward to their fresh start. Kristen smiled.

Rafe and Jada exited the office with a box of files. "Turns out most people don't work here anymore. But we'll track them down. Somebody is bound to remember something," Rafe said. Stefan asked how long the investigation would take. With a shrug, Rafe noted that the case was his top priority, since it could free his sister. "Whatever you need, whatever I can do, I'm all in," Stefan said. Stefan asked what was next.

"We just need to get Li Shin's murder case reopened, and you know, cast doubt on the conviction. Burden of proof lies on the prosecution," Jada said. "I'm optimistic that this will be enough," Rafe added. Stefan smiled with relief. "I can't wait to tell Gabi about this. It will really lift her spirits," Stefan said. Rafe advised Stefan to wait until they had talked to the D.A. about reopening the case. Stefan groaned. "[E.J.] has no choice but to follow the evidence and the law," Jada said. "Let's hope he sees it that way," Stefan muttered.

Chad makes a discovery in Abigail's notebook

Chad makes a discovery in Abigail's notebook

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Rafe met with Ava at Tripp and Wendy's apartment. Ava explained that she was in a hurry because she needed to prove herself to Roman in her new job. Rafe was surprised to learn of Ava's job change but moved on to the topic he wanted to discuss, Clyde's book. Ava confirmed Harris had updated her on the findings. Rafe wanted to find a motive for Gil as the murderer, and he needed Ava's help.

Ava insisted that she did not have any useful information about Gil or Li. She sarcastically suggested hypnosis, which Rafe thought might not be a bad idea. Ava claimed she had been racking her brain, trying to remember anything important, but had come up empty. She reiterated that she needed to get back to work. Rafe continued to implore her and said he needed her help "badly."

Rafe speculated that Li might have been working with Clyde, but Ava shot down that notion. Rafe then pressed Ava about her own possible association with Clyde, since Ava had previously been in charge of a drug ring, at her father's behest. Ava shot back that those events had happened decades earlier, and she grew hostile as Rafe questioned her prior employment at the Bistro. Rafe couldn't understand why Stefan would take the fall for Ava. He asked Ava if Stefan and she had been having an affair behind Gabi's back.

Ava immediately protested and claimed Gabi had been the only woman for Stefan. Rafe continued to press Ava on her past as a criminal, which further offended Ava. Rafe presented his theory that Gil had arrived at the apartment, looking for Ava, and that Li had been the unlucky victim of circumstance. Rafe assumed Ava had been the intended victim instead of Li.

Rafe again pleaded with Ava to tell him the truth about her association with Gil so that he could build a credible motive for Li's murder. Ava asserted that she had no involvement with Gil other than as his employee. She speculated that Gil had gone to the apartment because "the Bistro isn't an ideal place for a sexual assault." With tears in her eyes, Ava stated firmly that she had killed Gil in self-defense.

A tearful Ava confided how Gil's death had haunted her, and the idea that she might have also been indirectly responsible for Li's death added more weight to her guilt. She wondered if Rafe was trying to sell himself the theory to assuage his guilt about Gabi's lockup. Ava insisted once more that if she knew anything, she would tell Rafe. While Rafe claimed he would accept her answer "for now," he warned that he would "keep digging" as long as his sister's freedom was on the line.

When Rafe departed, Ava called Harris and left a message saying she needed to talk with him. After she hung up, Ava fretted about the prospect of telling Wendy about Ava's possible role in Li's death. Ava prayed that Rafe was wrong.

At the Bistro, Kristen joined Stefan as he perused Gil's records in the hopes of finding a lead. Stefan toasted to discovering the necessary information and to setting Gabi free. Kristen begrudgingly expressed her hope to see Stefan and Gabi reunited, which surprised Stefan, as he had not thought of his sister as a "hard-bitten romantic." Kristen confirmed she was a romantic underneath her "ice-cold exterior." She warned Stefan, however, that when Gabi was set free, to "keep that bitch away from me."

Stefan and Kristen bickered about the terms of their deal. Stefan assured Kristen he wasn't planning to renege on their agreement, but he reminded her the top priority was getting Gabi out of prison. Stefan wanted to leave and talk to E.J. right away, but Kristen encouraged him to wait and see what Rafe could uncover.

Sloan found Leo with a bottle of wine in the park. She snarked about him being drunk again, and he asked her if she wanted "a nip of the good stuff," courtesy of "E.J. DiMera's bank account." Sloan asked Leo if he was crazy. Leo began drunkenly quoting Shakespeare, which prompted a frustrated Sloan to snap at him to "get over...being dumped on your ass" by a man who had apparently not loved Leo. She then raged at Leo for betraying the agreement they had made.

Leo defended himself by claiming he had been good to Sloan. Besides, he reasoned, the only other person who knew the truth because of Leo was E.J. Sloan contemplated if Leo telling E.J. might have been her fault, since she had left Leo drunk and alone. The two bantered about Leo's drunken state and how long it had taken him to tell E.J.

Sloan laid into Leo again for not honoring his word to her. Leo lifted the bottle and said, "this guy had other plans." Sloan wasn't buying Leo's attempt to blame his broken promise on the alcohol, so Leo backed off and tried out a sincere apology. He talked about his fondness for Jude and how a picture he had of the boy always lifted his mood. Leo believed, though, that Jude should be with his biological mother -- "the one who actually likes kids."

An incredulous Sloan let Leo know that Jude was never going back to Nicole. Leo was confused because he had believed that E.J. would want his baby back. Sloan reminded Leo about the terms of his deal with E.J. and commanded Leo to stop asking questions. Leo said asking questions was a part of his nature as a journalist, and his guilt had also been eating at him. He wondered how Sloan could "sleep at night" after having lied to Eric for so long.

Sloan dismissed guilt as "a waste of time," and Leo snarked that she had to have gotten that idea from "how not to have a conscience in ten easy steps." Leo reminded Sloan that they had not been party to a small lie but had let a grieving mother believe her child to be dead. Sloan threatened that if Leo said a word to Nicole, Sloan would tell E.J. about Leo's duplicity. Then, she coldly stated, his bank account would be "the least of" Leo's worries.

E.J. was surprised to find Nicole in the living room of the DiMera mansion, as he had thought she would still be at work. Nicole explained that she was on a break and had gone home in hopes of patching things up with Holly, who had been avoiding her. E.J. apologized for his role in the argument with Holly, and Nicole assured him he had nothing to feel sorry about. Nicole knew that E.J. would do anything for her.

Nicole mused about her rocky relationship with Holly, starting with when Holly had been born, only to be thrust into the middle of a custody battle between Nicole and Chloe. Nicole wondered if things might have been different if she had been allowed to raise Holly from Holly's birth. Nicole wished she had had that opportunity with her and E.J.'s son, but she had realized it wasn't meant to be. E.J. looked guilty as Nicole spoke.

Nicole wondered if E.J. knew what he had gotten himself into when he had married her. E.J. assured his wife that after Sami, being married to Nicole had been "a bloody cakewalk." Nicole asked E.J. to let Holly know that Nicole had been wanting to talk with her. E.J. promised he would, then he suggested Nicole attend an upcoming city fundraiser with him. Nicole thought the fundraiser would be a good opportunity to inquire about the town's charities and to get more information for her story on the unhoused. She happily agreed to the date, kissed E.J., and left.

E.J. sighed heavily and sat down for a drink. Stefan and Kristen disturbed his attempt to drown his sorrows. E.J. sarcastically greeted them as "my two favorite people in the world." The trio traded insults, and E.J. needled Kristen about DiMera's stock rising. Stefan tried to play temporary peacemaker, but E.J. accused his brother of trying to oust E.J. as CEO and install Kristen in his place. E.J. raised a toast to Stefano's portrait and cracked, "To family."

E.J. received another unwelcome visitor when Rafe arrived. Following an unpleasant greeting from E.J., Rafe presented E.J. with the file that contained photographs of Gil's bloody fingerprint on the black book. Kristen and Stefan looked on with intense interest as Rafe made his case for reopening Li's murder investigation. E.J. flippantly handed the file back to Rafe and scoffed that Rafe "had nothing," especially since Gabi's husband had been the one to discover the evidence. E.J. also reasoned that the book and the blood could be many years old.

A dumbstruck Rafe, Stefan, and Kristen argued against each of E.J.'s points. E.J., however, held his ground and reminded the group that any decision regarding the case was his decision as the district attorney. The case would not be reopened, he bluntly informed his angry gathering.

Eric arrived at the newspaper office and found Thomas sitting in Chad's chair. Eric warmly greeted the boy, who explained it was his school's "take your kid to work" day. With a smile, Eric asked Thomas if Thomas was going to be the boss one day. As Chad entered, Thomas said that he wanted to be a reporter like his mom. Thomas clarified that he wanted to be a crime reporter. Chad chimed in and talked about a story Thomas had been working on regarding the "mystery meat" in the school cafeteria.

Thomas and Eric shared light jokes about the story, and Thomas happily left to retrieve a camera Eric had offered him for the story. An amused Eric praised Thomas as "a good kid." With a smile, Chad attributed Thomas' good qualities to the boy's mother. Chad grew emotional as he talked with Eric about how much he missed Abigail and how much of her Chad saw in the kids. "Her light shines through us all," Chad said wistfully. Eric was certain that Abigail was "smiling down" on her family.

Chad and Eric talked about fatherhood. Eric affirmed that although Jude didn't share Eric's DNA, he'd felt from "the moment they put my son in my arms" that Jude was truly his son. Chad advised Eric to cherish every moment, and Eric called Jude a blessing. Chad turned the discussion to Nicole and asked Eric how it had been working with her. Chad knew that working with an ex could be a "thorny issue." Before Eric could respond, Nicole arrived with a notebook in hand.

Nicole handed the notebook to Chad and explained that she had found it in Chad's old room at the mansion. Chad opened the book and was rattled to see it contained Abigail's handwriting. He noted that the last entry had been made a few weeks before Abigail had died. As he read the notes, Chad observed that Abigail had included a lot of statistics and data on drugs and violent crime. He couldn't recall Abigail ever mentioning such a story.

Nicole suggested that Jack, as the former editor in chief, might know something about Abigail's story. Chad agreed and called his father-in-law. After he assured Jack that the kids were fine, Chad asked Jack about a story Abigail might have been working on before she had died. When he ended the call, Chad updated Nicole and Eric on Jack's assertion that Abigail had been working on something "pretty heavy." Jack had not known the subject of the story but had assumed that Abigail had dropped it.

Chad theorized that based on what he had read in the notebook, Abigail had not dropped the story and that it had concerned the drug operation in Salem. Nicole clarified that it likely had been the same drug ring that had put Holly in the hospital. Chad believed Abby had been onto Clyde. "The question is, did Clyde know it?" Chad wondered aloud.

Xander has an important question for Sarah

Xander has an important question for Sarah

Thursday, May 16, 2024

At the pub, Kayla complained to Steve about the uptick in hospital work due to staffing shortages. She had been glad to get away and catch up with him, and she asked about Tripp and Wendy. Steve confirmed the couple was doing great, but Steve still missed Tripp. Kayla also asked how things with John had been going, and Steve gave a one-word "fine," which irked Kayla. She at least wanted a longer response about Konstantin, as she expressed disbelief that Maggie wanted to marry the man.

Steve assured Kayla that she had no reason to worry about Maggie. Jada entered the pub and greeted Steve and Kayla. Steve invited Jada to join them. She accepted and, upon Kayla's inquiry about her recent move, raved about living in an actual house with Rafe. Kayla was also happy that Jada had successfully gotten the signed divorce papers from Everett. Jada expressed her relief and credited Stephanie with helping move the process along.

Jada shared her trepidation about Stephanie trying to work things out with Everett, however. She believed Everett might break Stephanie's heart, as he had hers. Jada backed off, fearing she had overstepped with Kayla and Steve. They interjected that they had some of the same concerns, but Kayla reassured Jada that "Papa Bear" would step in if Everett did anything questionable. Steve wanted Jada to know that "Papa Bear" would come to her defense, as well.

Jada was touched, and Steve reminded her that Jada's dad had meant a lot to him. Jada considered Kayla and Steve family, too. She apologized for not having made plans with them sooner but blamed work overload, which prompted Kayla to ask about the Clyde Weston case. Jada updated Steve and Kayla on the discovery of the black book. Jada was frustrated with the lack of progress on cracking the code that had been found in the book but was pleased when Steve said he could get the ISA to help with the code-breaking.

Jada thanked Steve and revealed that Harris had also enlisted a Navy buddy's help with the code. Jada hoped that the book could help the police close many cases, including Li Shin's murder. Kayla and Steve were taken aback by the revelation that Clyde might have been involved in the death of Li. Jada wanted to devise a way to let Clyde know the police had the black book, in hopes of drawing the fugitive out of hiding.

Steve offered his assistance, since the case was personal for his family, as Clyde had harmed both Abigail and Tripp. Steve anticipated the day when "that bastard is stopped once and for all." Jada promised to make Sunday plans with Steve and Kayla and then departed. After Jada left, Kayla pressed Steve about "the wheels turning" in his head. She didn't want him to put too much on his plate by juggling Konstantin and Clyde's case.

Steve assured Kayla he was an effective multi-tasker. He couldn't give Kayla details about the plan for Konstantin, but he promised her it was under control.

Alex and Theresa strolled through Horton Town Square as Alex bragged about all "the beautiful things" Theresa had to choose from while shopping. Their attention was drawn when Konstantin declared, "Perhaps an engagement ring for the happy couple." Theresa glared at Konstantin, who had approached with Maggie. Konstantin continued gushing about Alex and Theresa as a couple and even suggested the two have a double wedding with Maggie and Konstantin. Maggie quickly apologized and said Konstantin tended to get "carried away."

Maggie then turned her attention to Alex and, more specifically, to why Alex was not at the Titan office. She reminded Alex that he needed to prepare for a big meeting, but Alex bit back that his calendar was none of Maggie's concern. He had assigned his VP to the task, and besides, Titan was "a well-oiled machine," thanks in large part to Alex. Maggie mused that Alex might want to get to the office, regardless, "once you're done patting yourself on the back." When she saw that Alex was staying put, she muttered that one of them should go to work, and it would have to be her.

Maggie left, leaving Konstantin behind with a displeased Theresa and Alex. Konstantin prepared to leave after Alex aggressively asked why Konstantin was still standing there, but Alex stopped him. He wanted Konstantin to inform the stable hands that a new racehorse was being delivered to the mansion. Konstantin bristled when Alex declared his intention to move back into the mansion and take over the east wing, where Konstantin resided.

Alex also announced that he would be talking with Maggie about Konstantin living at the mansion. Konstantin scoffed and insinuated that any attempt to remove him would be met with protest by his "soon-to-be wife." Theresa tried to play referee and remind the men that the conversation was pointless without Maggie present. Alex curtly told Theresa that half of the estate and half of the fortune belonged to him. He wondered aloud when the Hortons would be moving out. Konstantin replied that the Horton house renovation was on schedule, but he claimed he had enjoyed having the family around; he hoped to enjoy Alex's company, as well.

Alex smirked and left to buy more things for Theresa. Once Alex was out of sight, Theresa lit into Konstantin for bringing up an engagement ring. Konstantin said he was just trying to move things along for Theresa, but Theresa defended that she had already gotten back into Alex's bed. She only needed to get into the mansion. Konstantin demanded she get quicker results because "time is of the essence." Their spat was cut short by a returning Alex, who was delighted when Konstantin excused himself.

Alex called Konstantin "insufferable" and flippantly stated Maggie had to be "lonely and needy" to want to be around the man, let alone marry him. He presented Theresa with a jewelry box. Theresa's eyes widened when she beheld the expensive diamond necklace that was inside. She exclaimed that she had only been expecting "a little bauble" and wished that she could do something nice for Alex. He drew closer and muttered that he had "a few ideas," then he kissed Theresa.

Later, Alex and Theresa stumbled into their apartment as they kissed and got handsy with each other. Theresa tore off Alex's shirt, and he threw her onto the bed. Later, they lay breathless in each other's arms. Theresa confessed she was "kind of crazy" about Alex and prompted him for a reply when he failed to respond. He believed that his actions had spoken louder than any words could. Theresa left the room to shower. Once alone, Alex called Kristen, said he missed her, and promised to meet up the next day.

John arrived at the penthouse in response to a worried Marlena's call. When John asked what was wrong, Marlena replied that Brady had told her about Maggie redistributing Maggie's part of the inheritance to the family members left out of Victor's will. John agreed that the development probably had Konstantin "losing his mind." Marlena fretted that the action would place Maggie in further danger. While John was concerned, as well, he believed Konstantin would behave himself for the time being because Victor's estate was so massive.

John did want to call Maggie, however, to ensure Maggie had made no other unannounced plans. Later, Maggie sat down with John and Marlena. The couple thanked Maggie for including Brady in her inheritance share, as it would enable Brady to take care of his kids financially in the long term. Maggie revealed that sharing the fortune had been her intention even before Konstantin. At Marlena and John's perturbed expression, she asked if she had done something wrong.

John believed it was more important than ever to catch Konstantin committing a crime. Marlena and John's curiosity was piqued when Maggie announced that she had thought up the perfect plan. She detailed her idea to set Konstantin up for embezzling Titan funds. Maggie theorized that since Alex had been so reckless and carefree with money since he had gotten his part of the inheritance, it would leave Titan open and vulnerable to such a crime.

Marlena and John mulled over the plan, and Marlena clarified that Maggie wanted to expose Konstantin for "the lowlife he is." Maggie smiled and said to leave that part to her. She was certain Konstantin would be "salivating" over the favor she had been planning to ask him. John thought Maggie's plan had promise, and she reminded John that if she needed any backup, she had Steve and him on call.

After Maggie left, Marlena expressed her belief that Konstantin might have met his match in Maggie. "That's a fact," John affirmed, adding that hopefully, Konstantin would soon be out of all their lives for good. Marlena noted how satisfied John seemed to be because he was helping Maggie, and he opened up about his guilt for being the driving force behind Konstantin's vengeance. He lamented that the situation had become "another cross to bear."

Marlena took John's hand and firmly stated "one more time" that John's actions as the Pawn had not been his fault. She saw John's efforts to help Maggie as the best example of John's actual character. John said he wanted to be "a voice for good" and thanked Marlena for her support with a kiss and hug.

Konstantin seethed on a bench in the square about that "insolent swine" Alex. He pledged that Alex would "get his soon enough." Konstantin immediately put on a happy face, though, when Maggie approached. She asked Konstantin to be in charge of a charitable trust, since Konstantin would know about the causes closest to Victor's heart. Konstantin's eyes lit up at the prospect, and he said it would be his honor to head up the project.

At the apartment, Sarah grinned when she found a box on the table with an "open me" sign attached to it. To her delight, three cupcakes were in the box. As she admired the treats, Xander approached from behind with a bouquet of flowers. Sarah turned and marveled at Xander's gifts, but she wondered if she had missed a memo about a date. Xander handed her the note tucked into the flowers, on which he had written, "Want to play with me?"

Sarah said she'd love to "play" with Xander and suggestively tugged at his shirt. The games she wanted to play, however, required a "change of venue." Xander smiled and said he would love to play those games in time, but they had other business to attend to. Sarah assumed he was talking about Victoria's bottle time, but Xander assured her Victoria was not awake yet. He declared that he wanted to play Hearts.

When Sarah clarified that Xander meant the card game, he whisked a tablecloth off the table to reveal a deck of cards. Sarah picked up one of the cards set aside and inquired about it. Xander told her it was the Queen of Hearts because Sarah was his queen and had stolen his heart. Sarah also read a note on the card referring to "art." At her confusion, Xander announced that he was sending Sarah on a scavenger hunt, and he couldn't wait for her to "find the treasure" he had hidden.

Sarah began flirting again and suggested she give Xander a "pat-down," but Xander warned her that seducing him would not help her win. She'd only get his "jewels" when she discovered the hidden treasure. Sarah jumped up and proclaimed, "Game on." She evaluated the room for artwork and cracked that it couldn't be any of the paintings on the wall, since Xander had hung them. Xander replied that the "art" wasn't on the walls and suggested Sarah put the flowers in a vase while he went to retrieve Victoria.

Sarah contended that she hadn't heard Victoria cry, but Xander insisted she follow his instructions. She picked up a container he had motioned to but protested that it wasn't a vase. Xander corrected that the container was "art," so an intrigued Sarah opened it. She pulled out a black ring box and gasped. When she turned, she broke into a big smile and had happy tears in her eyes.

A smiling Xander stood in the doorway, holding Victoria. Written on the baby's bib was a question: "Will you marry Daddy?" Later, after Sarah had settled Victoria for a nap, Xander proclaimed that Victoria had wanted him to ask the question again "properly." He got down on one knee with the ring and waxed poetic to Sarah about loving her with his "whole heart" and about how much Sarah had improved his life. "The only thing that could improve what we have now is knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life with you," he proclaimed.

Xander opened the ring box and asked Sarah to marry him. Wiping tears from her eyes, she shocked him by stating, "I'm so sorry, but I can't accept this." A stunned Xander asked if Sarah was saying no, but she tugged him up and immediately reassured him that she was only saying no to the ring. She believed it to be too expensive. Xander reminded her that since Maggie had reallocated the inheritance, he had enough money for Victoria's trust and for Sarah to have "the best" ring.

Xander also wanted to solidify them as a family. Sarah insisted the inheritance money should be focused on Victoria. She didn't need the best ring, she pledged, "because I already have the best. I have you." She made her point by lovingly kissing Xander. When he pulled away, he wondered if her enthusiastic response constituted a "yes." Sarah smiled and restated Xander's words about spending the rest of their lives together.

Sarah apologized for acting like an "ingrate" about the ring, and Xander hoped that meant she would accept the ring. She jokingly asserted she would and would "try to get over" her guilt. She then asked Xander for a proposal "redo" in which he would get back down on his knee and say "all the beautiful corny things" again that had made her heart melt. Xander agreed to "Xander proposes to Sarah, take two," and Sarah added "action."

Xander kneeled again and gazed up adoringly at Sarah. "Mother of my child, best friend, staunchest supporter -- well, staunchest supporter when I'm being a decent human being," he began. Then he affirmed his goal of being the man that Sarah deserved and the father that Victoria deserved. Xander's other goal was to make Sarah happy and to "put a smile" on her face "a few hundred times a day, and a few times at night, too" so that Sarah would know "you're everything to me."

Xander jested about finally getting to the proposal part and teared up as he asked "the love of my life" to marry him. Sarah smiled broadly and answered, "Xander Cook, love of my life, I will definitely marry you." She giggled happily as Xander placed the ring on her finger. When Xander rose, the two called each other "fiancÚ" with wide grins, and they kissed.

Nicole's fight with Holly leads to trouble

Nicole's fight with Holly leads to trouble

Friday, May 17, 2024

At the penthouse, Eric showed off baby Jude to his parents. "Watching this interaction between your little boy and you, it's just so clear that you are connected. I mean, just so close," John said. "We are. I couldn't love this guy more if he were my own flesh and blood," Eric confirmed. John told Eric he was a great father, and Eric noted that he had three great role models. "Mom, Dad, and you," Eric said. John beamed.

Marlena pointed out that Jude had Eric's smile, and she noted that there were studies that had found that adopted children picked up the mannerisms and expressions of their adoptive parents. "I can see it, too," John said. John asked about Eric's financial issues, but Eric noted that things were under control.

"We just had to make a little adjustment. But it's part of raising a kid, right?" Eric said. John asked Eric about the paper, and Eric said he was enjoying the work. Eric talked about his joint story with Nicole about the houseless in Salem. "And the two of you are working well together?" Marlena asked. Eric said yes. John asked how Sloan felt about the collaboration. "[Sloan] understood that I needed the job," Eric said. Marlena asked Eric if it was difficult to work closely with Nicole.

"You know we're always going to have a connection. But we're friends. And that's all," Eric said. With a nod, Marlena added that it was good that Eric had maintained his connection to Holly. Eric agreed.

After Eric left to meet up with Nicole, John told Marlena that he needed to review cases with Steve while she went to the office to meet up with a client. "I am so glad that you and Steve are back on good terms," Marlena said. "It's all thanks to you, Doc," John said.

At the DiMera mansion, Holly was working on homework in her room when Nicole entered and asked her to go out for tea. "I have too much studying to do," Holly said. When Nicole noted that studying could wait, Holly argued that she needed to prepare for a test. "You have time," Nicole said. Frustrated, Holly yelled, "Do you have any idea how far behind I am? I'm like totally stressed out!"

"Okay. So, you're stressed. Which is why you need to learn how to relax and balance your life," Nicole said. Nicole offered to have Marlena write a note for Holly. "No! I don't want Marlena to write me another note. I just want to be a normal kid who does normal things without her mother smothering her," Holly said. Nicole's smile disappeared.

"So, this isn't just about you needing to study, is it? You don't want to spend time with me, is that right?" Nicole asked. Holly rolled her eyes. Nicole asked Holly to be honest, because Holly's actions showed that she did not want to spend time with her mother. "All I said was I have to study," Holly said.

"I'm sorry if you feel like I'm smothering you," Nicole said. "I didn't say that I feel like you are. I said you are," Holly countered. Holly argued that it was unfair for Nicole to ask her to be a perfect student but not let her do normal high school things like go to prom or hang out with her friends. "I do want all those things for you. But that's not what this is about," Nicole said. Holly disagreed.

"You still don't trust me. And no matter how hard I try, Mom, nothing I do will ever be good enough for you," Holly argued. Nicole stressed that she was proud of Holly. "I'm just worried that you're pushing yourself too hard," Nicole said. Holly scowled. "And you want to know why I do that?" Holly asked. Holly told Nicole that she had not wanted to be the reason that one of Nicole's boyfriends walked away. Taken aback, Nicole said she was sorry to hear that Holly had felt that way.

"If I had known, I would have told you that you are my pride and joy. And that my relationships failing had nothing to do with you, okay?" Nicole said. Nicole suggested that Holly should drop a couple classes and move them to the summer. "So, you want to take away my summer from me now, too?" Holly asked. Nicole told Holly that she just wanted Holly to have options.

"I never had options," Nicole said. "And look at you now," Holly countered. Holly said she had pushed herself because she had not wanted to end up like her mother. Tears filled Nicole's eyes.

"Well, that was a very hurtful thing to say," Nicole whispered. "Yeah, well, I was being honest, that's all. The way you've lived your life is not how I want to live mine, okay?" Holly said. Nicole told Holly that she wanted a different path for Holly, too. "Maybe that's why I've been so strict with you, why I hover. Because I know that I would have had a different life if my childhood wasn't so screwed up," Nicole said. Nicole talked about the abuse in her childhood.

"I just want you to understand that nobody was there for me, not the way that I needed," Nicole said. "That's really sad, Mom, but you trying to control my life, it's not the same as being there for me," Holly countered. Nicole argued that her goal was to keep Holly safe. When Nicole mentioned New Year's Eve, Holly grew agitated. "How many times are you gonna bring that up to justify ruining my life?" Holly yelled. Nicole appeared confused.

"I admit that I have made some bad choices in my life. And those choices not only hurt me, but they hurt you, as well. And honey, I regret that. I do. I regret it. And I know I haven't been consistent in my parenting. But the one thing I have been consistent with is how much I love you. Always and forever. And the one thing I want more for you in this world is to be happy and safe and to have a good life," Nicole pleaded. Holly said she wanted the same thing.

"Then we finally agree on something," Nicole said. A small smile flashed on Holly's face. Nicole asked what she could do to make things better between them. "For one thing, you can trust me more. Trust my judgment. And, Mom, you have to understand that getting good grades, it is important to me, but it's not enough. I want to have the whole high school experience," Holly said. As Nicole shook her head, Holly added that it would make her happy if she could go to the prom.

"You just said you wanted me to be happy, right?" Holly asked. Holly promised she would not get into any trouble. After a moment, Nicole said no. "It's not an option, honey, I'm sorry," Nicole said. Holly stammered, "No." Nicole argued that although she loved Holly, Holly had almost died, and she had not earned Nicole's trust back. "You love me so much you're keeping me a prisoner in this house!" Holly yelled. Holly told Nicole that she would rather be dead.

"Don't say that!" Nicole said. "All the babies you lost were lucky because they never had to deal with you as a mother! Did you ever just think that motherhood isn't your thing? Because you're not good at it. So, you should have never had kids in the first place!" Holly yelled. Nicole appeared stricken, but after a moment, she reached out to hug Holly. Holly turned away from Nicole. In tears, Nicole rushed out of the room.

In the DiMera living room, Stefan started to make another appeal to E.J. E.J. told Stefan that he did not believe the new evidence was useful. "But if you would just take a look at this new evidence, you would see that all of it points toward Gil being Li Shin's murderer and not my wife," Stefan argued. Stefan asked E.J. to reopen the case.

"I've already told you, I will not," E.J. stressed. When Stefan mentioned Rafe's interest in the case, E.J. scoffed. "The brother of the convicted killer. Brilliant, no conflict of interest there at all," E.J. joked. Stefan admitted that Rafe had a personal interest in setting Gabi free, but it did not mean Rafe was wrong about the new evidence. "All I'm asking is that you put your personal resentment aside and put your job and the law first," Stefan asked. E.J. walked out. "You're going to regret that, big brother," Stefan muttered.

A distraught Holly met up with Marlena in Marlena's office. "What's happened?" Marlena asked. "I'm a terrible person, Marlena. I just said some really horrible things to my mom, and now I hate myself," Holly said before she broke down in tears. Marlena hugged Holly. When Holly calmed down, she told Marlena about the fight.

"You must have been very angry," Marlena said. "Like that's an excuse?" Holly countered. Holly said that she did not understand why she had felt compelled to say such nasty things to her mother. "Things that I really don't mean. And God, I just feel so guilty afterwards," Holly said. Marlena explained that often people lashed out at loved ones. "It's because we know each other so well," Marlena said. Holly admitted that she wanted to apologize, but Nicole had not answered her phone. Marlena advised Holly to give Nicole time.

"You could write a letter. Put everything down and express what you're feeling and what you're going through. And then, when you see her next, you could read it to her. Or you could just give it to her," Marlena said. Holly was unsure, but Marlena told Holly to explain to Nicole that she had wanted to express her feelings in a calm and rational manner.

With a smile, Marlena said she had been involved in a number of similar conversations in her life, and she knew how Nicole felt. "She's frightened of losing you, darling," Marlena said. "That makes sense. My mother tries to control me because she's afraid of losing me like she did my baby brothers," Holly said. Marlena nodded yes, and she told Holly that she would need to work to help Nicole gain back her trust in Holly. "I get that now," Holly said.

In the DiMera living room, E.J. instructed an employee to buy more shares of Titan stock before the DiMera board meeting the next day. "I will soon be E.J. DiMera, permanent CEO of DiMera Enterprises," E.J. said with a chuckle.

Stefan marched into the mayor's office, and he dropped his folder of evidence on Paulina's desk. "I'd like to file a complaint," Stefan said. Paulina warned Stefan that he did not have the right to barge into her office without an appointment and make demands. Stefan explained that he had damning evidence against E.J. and that he knew about Paulina's political troubles.

"D.A. DiMera and I are indeed at odds," Paulina confirmed. "[E.J.] is refusing to reopen a murder case in which new evidence has come to light that would exonerate the convicted killer and free said killer from a lifelong prison sentence. Now, he is doing this to further his own ambitions and because he hates the person convicted of the crime," Stefan said. Stefan argued that E.J. was using his office to pursue a grudge. When Paulina agreed, Stefan disclosed that the convict was his wife, Gabi.

"I'd have to see all this new evidence," Paulina said. Stefan slid Rafe's folder across the desk to Paulina. Paulina reviewed the file. "This is compelling, but it hardly proves anything," Paulina said. Stefan asked Paulina to talk to the police commissioner. Paulina noted that the convict was the commissioner's sister and Stefan's wife.

"That is true, but it's also true that Gabi is innocent. Now, I understand that this case is not a slam dunk. But this evidence at least casts a reasonable doubt on that conviction. It needs to be investigated," Stefan said. Paulina asked Stefan if E.J. had refused to investigate, and he said yes. Stefan explained that E.J. was afraid that if Gabi were freed, she would return to take over the family company and mansion.

Stefan explained that E.J. wanted to make himself the permanent CEO of DiMera while he still retained the D.A. position. Paulina scoffed. "He knows the city bylaws don't allow that. And he didn't even think to clear it with me?" Paulina yelled. Paulina picked up her phone and called E.J. Paulina ordered E.J. to meet her in her office.

Outside the pub, Ava ran into Steve. Steve told Ava that he knew about Clyde's black book. "If Harris is involved in this, I'm willing to bet you are, too," Steve said. Ava played dumb. "I bet [Clyde's] been in touch with you to get that book back. Is that about right, Ava?" Steve asked. Ava told Steve that she did not know what he was talking about.

When Steve told Ava that he knew Stefan had found the book and taken it to the police, Ava warned Steve to stay out of the situation. "I wish I could. But thanks to you, I can't. Because John and I broke Weston out of prison. And if he gets caught, he's going to send us all down the river. We're all going to jail," Steve growled. Ava told Steve not to worry, because she was looking into a more permanent solution for Clyde Weston than prison.

"What exactly are you insinuating?" Steve asked. "I am not insinuating anything, Steve. I am telling you I agree with you. If Clyde gets captured, yeah, he is going to sell all of us out. You, me, and John. So, we need a way for that not to happen. A permanent solution to the Clyde situation," Ava whispered. Stefan called out Ava's name as he rounded the corner.

"Talk to you later," Steve said to Ava before he walked away. Ava asked Stefan about Gabi, and Stefan explained that E.J. had refused to reopen the case. "No surprise there," Ava said. "Something tells me that [E.J.'s] control over the situation might soon come to an abrupt halt," Stefan said. Stefan told Ava about his conversation with the mayor. "Did [Harris] have any luck setting the trap for Weston?" Stefan asked. Ava confirmed that things were in motion.

At Paulina's office, Paulina reminded E.J., "You work for me." E.J. asked what was so urgent, and Paulina asked E.J. why he had dismissed the new evidence in the Li Shin murder case. "So, my brother's gotten to you. I should have known," E.J. muttered. E.J. started to condescendingly explain that there was not enough evidence, but Paulina cut him off.

"I am tired of you using your office to further your private vendettas and aspirations. So, that is going to stop right now. And you are going to do as I instruct you to," Paulina said. "Or what?" E.J. asked with a smirk. Paulina told E.J. he was fired. E.J. laughed in disbelief. Paulina informed E.J. that he could not keep his job as a D.A. and moonlight as a CEO permanently.

When Nicole was late to meet Eric in the square for their story, he called her. A drunken Nicole answered her phone in the small bar off the square. "Are you okay? I've been waiting for you," Eric said. Nicole admitted she had lost track of time. When Eric arrived at the bar, he took one look at the empty shot glasses, and he started to help Nicole to her feet.

"Tell me all about it in the car," Eric said. "You're taking me home? That's so sweet," Nicole said. Eric threw Nicole's arm around his neck, and he said he would call E.J. Nicole said no, because E.J. was busy. A drunken Nicole stumbled around until Eric lifted her into his arms and carried her out of the bar.

At the penthouse, Steve told John that he had a lead on Clyde thanks to information he had learned from Jada. Steve then told John about the black book and the code. "If the ISA got a hold of this, they could be able to crack it," Steve said. John agreed.

"The other thing is, I ran into Ava outside the pub," Steve said. Steve told John that he believed that Ava knew where to find Clyde. "What the hell could Ava know?" John asked. Steve said he believed Clyde had been in touch with Ava. Steve noted that when Clyde was caught, he would rat them out. "We're just going to have to prepare ourselves for that consequence," John said.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. stormed into his living room and poured a drink. "You will pay for this, Paulina," E.J. growled. Outside the house, Eric helped Nicole stumble up the front walkway. "I'm so sorry. We were supposed to work," Nicole said. "We can work tomorrow. Let's just get you inside," Eric said. Eric opened the front door and propped Nicole up at the foyer table.

"Thank you for taking such good care of me. You always do. You are the best person in the whole wide world!" Nicole said. Eric warned Nicole not to talk too loudly. Nicole called Eric her knight in shining armor, and she said she wanted to give him a goodnight kiss. As Eric protested, Nicole pulled him into a kiss. E.J. stood in the doorway of the living room, and he watched the two kiss.

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