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DAYS #126: Stefano passes on a big clue to Nick, Anjelica & John connect mid-Atlantic

EPISODE 126
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson    
Stefano sits in his living room on the recliner, as Nick sits on the adjacent sofa. Stefano looks intensely at Nick, who listens attentively.   STEFANO: I need to be clear with you about this, Nicholas. This woman is MY partner in this plan. You are only privvy to this information to assist me. You will not hold any sway when it comes to decision making. Much like things stand now. Do you understand?
NICK: I do.
STEFANO: Good.   After a moment, Nick leans in, giving Stefano an intense, confident look as he continues.   NICK: But I think it should be made clear that I don't intend to remain silent forever. I want to work hard for you and prove that my ideas are just as valid anything you or your partner come up with.   Stefano laughs, shaking his head. He leans over and pats Nick on the hand.   STEFANO: You impress me, Nicholas. That will be very useful to us going forward.   Stefano leans in a little closer, holding a finger up as he becomes increasingly intense.   STEFANO: But...do not overrule me...or there WILL be consequences.   Nick looks back at Stefano, unflinchingly.   ---  
On a flight high above the Atlantic, John Black sits in his First Class seat next to Anjelica Deveraux. Both of them returning to Salem. John sits back in his chair, his head tilted toward  a smiling Anjelica.   JOHN: You know...we never really talked much when you were in Salem before.
ANJELICA: That's because you didn't have anything I needed then. I think it had something to do with you claiming to be Roman Brady. I didn't have much use for policemen when I was engaged in dalliances with heirs to multinationals, and doctors and the like.   John laughs quietly at Anjelica's comment, nodding in response.   JOHN: Yeah, that might have something to do with it.    John stops a moment, before looking back Anjelica's way.   JOHN: A lot's changed in all those years.
ANJELICA: Tell me about it. I hear Victor's stepped down from his pedastal as Big Bad of Salem since I've been away.
JOHN: Yeaaah that's mostly true.    Anjelica retorts, a quick roll of the eyes as she shoots out a pithy remark.   ANJELICA: How noble of him.
JOHN: Well, it hasn't hurt him business at all. He's still a very powerful man in Salem.   Anjelica stays looking focused on John, as though trying to carefully read him.   ANJELICA: So I heard. And likewise, I've heard the same about you.   John looks at Anjelica, an eyebrow cocked, unsure what Anjelica's getting at.   ---  
Billie gets up from behind her desk at Titan and steps toward Justin. She looks flustered at Justin's news.   BILLIE: I'm sorry, what?
JUSTIN: Nick Fallon...is the one that halted the EnerNext virus last night.   Billie nods, contemplating the ramifications.   BILLIE: Okay...so what does that mean?
JUSTIN: It means we need to take action, and fast.   Billie narrows her eyes, unsure what Justin means.   BILLIE: Wh...why?   Justin sighs, looking down away from Billie as he chooses his words carefully.   JUSTIN: Apparently...and...I don't know how he knows this, but...Tyler came around this morning, and...Nick has somehow managed to dig up information on the entire Titan board.
BILLIE: How?
JUSTIN: That I can't say. But it means that he'll be at that board meeting this afternoon, and he will use what he knows if he has to. That's why I need your help.   Billie looks at Justin, concerned and surprised.   ---     ---  
Kim walks into the Brady Pub, excited to find her brother Roman waiting in one of the booths. Roman lifts himself out of the booth and gives Kim a tight hug.   KIM: Ohh Roman. It's so good to spend some time with you.    As they separate from their hug, Kim holds onto Roman's arms, looking warmly at her brother.   KIM: How are you feeling?   Roman nods, smiling as he responds to his sister.   ROMAN: Well...you know...I feel a heck of a lot better than I did the other night, that's for sure.   Kim laughs at Roman's answer, and Roman joins in, as they both sit down in the booth. Their waitress comes by, and they both look up at her, responding before she has a chance to speak.   KIM: I'll have a cup of coffee, please.
ROMAN: Same for me.   Turning back toward Kim, Roman smiles at his sister, eager to catch up with her.   ROMAN: So! How's things going with Theresa?   Kim looks down, a bit wistful as she answers Roman's question.   KIM: Still nothing.   Roman looks back, puzzled.   ROMAN: Nothing? I thought she was coming home for...   Roman catches himself, realizing his memory's slipped again. His face drops.    ROMAN: She's had that accident...I forgot.   Kim looks over at her brother, taking his hands in hers across the table.   KIM: Trust me, I wish I COULD forget.
ROMAN: Kimmy--
KIM: No, no, Roman. It's okay. Listen, Theresa's in good hands. And as soon as there's any changes, I will let you know.   Roman smiles, squeezing his sister's hands.   ROMAN: I appreciate that.   Kim smiles back at Roman, not letting go on his hands.   KIM: Roman.
ROMAN: Yeah, Kimmy.   Kim looks down, trying to tread carefully with her next statement.   KIM: Look...I know this isn't my place...and I think that it's really important to keep your mind active with everything going on.   Roman looks over at Kim, expectantly.   ROMAN: But...?   Kim hesitates a moment, closing her eyes as she finishes her thought.   KIM: I think you might need to...take a step back from the force.   Roman looks at Kim, stunned.   ROMAN: Wh...Kim...Kim, I can't do that.   Kim looks back at her brother, a deep concern in her eyes.   ---   Billie leans against the front of her desk, with arms folded, as she takes in what Justin's told her.   BILLIE: So, wait...Nick Fallon...he stopped the virus from being implanted...how would he know it was even being put in?
JUSTIN: I have a few ideas, but no evidence to back it up.   Billie walks past Justin, pacing the room in contemplation.   BILLIE: I can't see any other way than...   Billie looks up, spying a small security camera in the corner of her office. She looks on, having a moment of realization before turning suddenly toward Justin.   BILLIE: Of course. 
JUSTIN: What?   Billie laughs to herself, almost amazed that she'd overlooked the obvious.   BILLIE: I should've know, paranoid Victor has this place rigged up like Big Brother. Nick would've have to have been tapping into Titan's server, not to mention the surveillance system. If we can prove it...
JUSTIN: I'm sure you're right, but that's not gonna stop the board from panicking and giving into his demands.   Billie turns to face Justin, curious about his last statement.   BILLIE: What do you mean?
JUSTIN: Well, Tyler told us about a run-in he had after the virus got taken down last night, and...he says Nick knew a lot...specifics about things, information that needs to stay private.
BILLIE: Okay...
JUSTIN: Tyler was under the impression that Nick is going to use that at today's board meeting as blackmail.   Billie looks incredulous.   BILLIE: To what end? He's gonna get laughed out of that board room.   Justin looks back at her, less than amused.   JUSTIN: I wouldn't be so sure. And by the time we get concerte evidence that Nick's been performing corporate espionage to blackmail the board, it'll be too late. That's why I need you to promise me, you'll get your mother and your brother to form a voting bloc against Nick today.   Billie nods, still frazzled by all the information coming her way.   BILLIE: Naturally. Do you think that'll be enough?
JUSTIN: Well...between you three, myself, and John...that should be enough people with clean hands that we should be able to stop Nick from taking us all down in one fell swoop.   Billie raises her eyebrows, arms still folded. She looks at Justin with concern.   BILLIE: Well...we'd better, and we'd better find out exactly what Nick's doing and where he's getting his information from, or else we may not have much of a Titan left to save.   ---   John sits in his seat on the plane, chuckling about Anjelica's statement about his riches.   JOHN: You know, you don't mess around, do you?   Anjelica looks back, a self-satisfied grin on her face as she looks John's way.   ANJELICA: After this many years? Why start now?
JOHN: Good point.
ANJELICA: Thanks. I try. You didn't answer my question, though.   John shakes his head, looking straight ahead before responding seriously.   JOHN: I've been fortunate enough to have resources I never imagined I'd have. Through family, business...but I've lost a lot too.   Anjelica looks thoughtfully at John.   ANJELICA: You're talking about your son.
JOHN: Brady, yeah. 
ANJELICA: I'm sorry to hear. I don't know what I'd do if I lost Alexander.   John nods, not looking Anjelica's way as he responds.   JOHN: Let's hope you never have to find out.   Anjelica smiles, showing rare genuine concern for John's situation, as John crooks his neck to better look at Anjelica, he looks at her curiously.   JOHN: So, tell me...what's brought you back to Salem after all these years?   Anjelica's smile shifts into a devilish grin, almost chuckling as she answers John, while pulling her tablet out from her bag.   ANJELICA: Oh I've got a number of...fascinating projects on the go.   Anjelica opens the browser, showing him the Salem Spectator headline.   ANJELICA: Starting with the governor's office.   John looks down at the headline:   DEVERAUX KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: DISGRACED SENATOR'S EX-WIFE ENTERS GOVERNOR'S RACE   Surprised, and intrigued, he looks back at Anjelica, who raises her eyebrows cheekily in response.   ---   Nick sits on the sofa by Stefano, smiling at his boss cockily.   NICK: Mr. DiMera...I am hardly worried about any consequences. You know I do good work.
STEFANO: As you should.   Nick gets up from the sofa, and wanders around the back of it, heading toward the terrace doors.   NICK: But, just for the sake of us all being on the same page...what exactly are these issues you're attending to?   Nick looks quickly over at the desk, and spies upon a manila envelope from University Hospital.   Stefano responds firmly to Nick's question.   STEFANO: That is none of your concern. They are simply business issues that need attending to.   Nick quickly diverts his eyes back toward the terrace doors.   NICK: Right.
STEFANO: Your main concern is this meeting. Now, I have given you all the envelopes for the board members, yes?   Nick nods as he turns his attention back Stefano's way.   NICK: Yeah, they're in my bag.
STEFANO: Okay, now, there is a strong possibility that John Black will be back for this meeting. If he returns, I want you to give him this envelope, and I want you to tell him something so that he KNOWS you're not fooling around.   Nick walks over to the chair and takes the envelope from Stefano's hands. Nick walks back over to the sofa, and puts the envelope in his bag with the others, as Stefano continues.   STEFANO: I must be clear. This must stay strictly between yourself, and John. No one else must hear this information, okay?   Nick nods dutifully, as he turns back to face Stefano.   NICK: Okay.   Stefano points toward Nick, speaking softly, but very firmly.   STEFANO: You must tell him you're onto his little mission to save Roman Brady. And you must tell him it ends immediately.   Nick smiles, pleased by this extra tidbit of information.   ---

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DAYS #125: Anjelica Returns!

EPISODE 125
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson      
In the DiMera living room, Stefano sits alone at his desk, rifling through paperwork, when Harold steps in, Nick behind him.   HAROLD: Mr. DiMera...   Stefano responds, not looking up. Harold responds nervously.   HAROLD: Uh...Mr. Nicholas Fallon to see you, Sir.   Stefano looks up, as a smirking Nick steps forward in through the doorway of the living room.   STEFANO: Nicholas. What can I do for you this fine morning?   Nick walks toward Stefano, as Harold closes the doors to the living room, leaving Nick and Stefano alone.   NICK: I came to let you know, we're all ready.
STEFANO: You have put everything in place?
NICK: I have. And as of this afternoon, we will have control over Titan Industries.   Stefano looks up at Nick, smiling and beginning to laugh victoriously.   ---   Sonny steps into his shared apartment, looking around to see if anyone's around. He calls out to be sure.   SONNY: Gabi? Will?   Gabi walks out of her bedroom, and Sonny smiles sheepishly.   GABI: Hey. Umm...Will's...Will's in the shower. SONNY: Oh...ok. 
GABI: Did you, ummm...did you talk to EJ about the...
SONNY: The gun. Yeah.   Gabi hesitates a moment, looking around awkwardly as she asks Sonny a question.   GABI: Did you umm...what did you decide?   Sonny looks at Gabi, and sighs.   ---     Eric stands in the waiting room at City Hall, sighing as Marlena continues to try to talk him out of staying married to Nicole.   ERIC: Mom, I'm not running away from anything. Look...I don't have my vocation anymore. I don't have...my...(sigh) my faith abandoned me in my hour of need--
MARLENA: Don't you think that this could be a test of your faith, Eric? That this is only designed to make your stronger? And to make your faith stronger?   Eric snaps at Marlena, his voice quivering as he cuts her off.   ERIC: How strong do I have to be? How much is enough? At least I know for a fact that Nicole loves me, and is there for me when I need her. 
MARLENA: Eric, you are so strong. You are every bit your father's son, and look what he's been through.    Eric looks away from his mother, responding sombrely, as the door to the waiting room opens behind him.   ERIC: Yeah, well, I may be my father's son, but I guess I'm not as strong as he is.   Nicole stands in the doorway, emotional. She calls out to her new husband.   NICOLE: You are every bit as strong as your father, Eric Brady. And I love you for it.   Eric and Marlena turn to see Nicole in the doorway, before Nicole walks into the room, and pulls Eric into a tight hug. Marlena stands back, folding her arms, as Sami stands in the doorway of the waiting room, equally unimpressed.   ---     ---     Billie stands in front of her desk at the Titan head office, as Justin looks on, concerned.   JUSTIN: Now, wait just a minute here. You're telling me you knew that someone was trying to hack into Titan's servers? Why is this the first I'm hearing about it?   Billie sighs, before carefully explaining the situation to Justin.   BILLIE: I knew because that's what I was brought back to Salem to do. Stop them from implanting the virus.
JUSTIN: I don't understand.
BILLIE: Look...before I tell you any of this, you have to promise me everything I tell you stays in this room. No exceptions.   Justin nods, empthatically complying with Billie's request.   JUSTIN: My lips are sealed. You have my word on that.   Billie folds her arms and begins to pace the room, as she begins to explain herself to Justin.   BILLIE: Kate wasn't the one who had me transferred back to Salem. It was the ISA.
JUSTIN: The ISA?
BILLIE: (sigh) Yes. Which is why I can't have you spreading this information anywhere.   Justin nods in understanding.   JUSTIN: No, no, I get it.
BILLIE: Kate was suspicious of one of our staff members, Sheryl Connors, and Jordan Ridgeway, who Kate had hired to help Rafe recuperate after he was shot...and...well...she kind of uncovered more about them than she bargained for.   JUSTIN: So...wait...Jordan and Sheryl....that's not their real names?   Billie shakes her head, still unsure how much she can safely share with Justin.   BILLIE: She...they're out to take Titan down, for a number of reasons, and...specifically EnerNext. 
JUSTIN: Okay. So...what exactly happened last night, then? You say you...tried to stop them?
BILLIE: Right. But I didn't. Someone stopped them before I did.
JUSTIN: I think I know who that was.   Billie looks at Justin, surprised and curious.   BILLIE: You do?   Justin nods, looking off momentarily before looking back at Billie, very worried.   JUSTIN: Yeah. Nick Fallon. And because of that, I need your help.   Billie looks at Justin, confused and concerned.   ---   Eric and Nicole stand in the City Hall waiting room, in a tight embrace, as Marlena and Sami stand around them, upset by the sight of them together.   After a moment, they separate, Nicole looking lovingly in Eric's eyes, as she shoots a look over to Marlena.   NICOLE: Marlena...I know this isn't what you wanted.   Marlena cuts Nicole off, speaking sharply to Nicole.   MARLENA: You can say that again.   Nicole stops for a moment before continuing.   NICOLE: But I want you both to know that I love Eric, with all my heart. He needs me just as much as I need him, and I am not going hurt him. Not this time.    Sami steps in closer to Nicole, arms still folded as she glares menacingly at her brother's new wife.   SAMI: You better hope you don't, Nicole. Because if you do, I will be on you like white on rice. You can bet on that.
NICOLE: Well then I guess you have nothing to worry about, then. Because we are going to be happy together, Eric and I. Forever.   Nicole puts her arm around Eric, and he does the same. Eric nods at Marlena and Sami, as he and Nicole step out.   NICOLE: Eric? Let's go.   Marlena and Sami look at each other, stunned by what's gone down, both deeply unhappy with Eric's nuptuals to Nicole, and feeling powerless.   ---   Sonny steps into the living room, as Gabi looks at him, very concerned.   SONNY: Look, I'm not saying I love having a gun around the apartment with a baby in here. GABI: If I'm being honest, neither do I.
SONNY: But I know what a threat Nick is. And I think that if the choice is between you and Ari being at risk, and us having someone to defend you against Nick? I mean...I know I don't like it but...(sigh) this has all gone so far...   Gabi nods, contemplating the gravity of the situation before them.   GABI: I know. It's...this is all way out of hand.
SONNY: But I understand why EJ gave it to you. We just have to make sure it's in a safe place away from Ari's reach.   Gabi smiles, nodding again, as she reaches out to hug Sonny.   GABI: Thank you.   Sonny hugs Gabi back, but looks on, a deep worry within him of the consequences of this choice.   ---   Nick looks at Stefano, who continues to sign off on paperwork as he responds to Nick.   STEFANO: You know...our partner in all this is going to be very impressed by your ingenuity. 
NICK: Well, I had great support from you.
STEFANO: And you shall continue to be compensated generously for your service to this organization. Believe me. However, remember one thing. I control the business. You take orders from me, and from our partner. You are not autonomous in this. You understand?   Nick nods in agreement.   NICK: I think I can control my impluses in this regard.
STEFANO: Excellent. When the time comes, I will give you more control over things, but for now, you listen to us. Understand?
NICK: I do.
STEFANO: Good. Now, I must ask you to leave and prepare for your board meeting. I unfortunately will be absent for the subsequent fireworks, as I shall be taking a rather...extended hiatus from Salem.   Nick looks at Stefano, surprised by the news.   NICK: Oh? I'm surprised. What brings this on?   Stefano looks over at Nick, somewhat frustrated.   STEFANO: There are some problems that have arisen in Italy and in Paris. If I don't attend to them, all of our plans will blow sky high. So I must leave tonight. But not to worry. I will be meeting with our partner today, and you be able to confer with her for the time being.   Nick looks over at Stefano, intrigued, as he leans on the arm of the easy chair nearest to Stefano's desk.   NICK: Oh, I finally get to meet our elusive partner, hm? Wonder what she's like?   Stefano looks at Nick, unimpressed by his cheeky nature.   ---   On an airplane sitting on the tarmac awaiting takeoff from Charles De Gaulle Airport, John Black sits in first class, looking out the window, as a well-dressed woman sits in the seat next to his. John quickly looks over at the woman as she speaks to him.   ANJELICA: Well, well. Long time, no see.   John looks over and raises a curious eyebrow as Anjelica Deveraux flashes a sly grin back at him.   ---

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DAYS #124: Sami confronts Nicole about her secret wedding to Eric, Jerome cracks the code

EPISODE 124
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Valerie sits at home, preparing an e-mail to Crystal Clarke, the new nurse she's hired on at University Hospital.   She finishes up the e-mail, and hits send. Closing her laptop, she smiles.   VALERIE: Alright. There we go Crystal. Welcome to University Hospital.   ---  
Alex, Tyler, and Justin stand in the Kiriakis living room, contemplating their next step in dealing with Nick.   ALEX: Well, not knowing much about this Fallon guy, I...I mean the best thing to do is assume he has stuff on all of us and collect whatever we can on him.   Justin shakes his head, walking toward his briefcase to grab his tablet.   JUSTIN: Mmm, probably not enough time for that. We have the board meeting this afternoon.
TYLER: What we're going to have to do is ensure we have a strong bloc of board members who won't budge on Nick. 
JUSTIN: That won't be easy. Especially when we're flying blind like this.  John's out of the country...   Tyler shakes his head, frustrated by the sudden turmoil everything's been flung into by Nick's hubris.   TYLER: We'll have to do some convincing other board members. Who else have we got?   Justin looks up at Tyler, suddenly having a thought.   JUSTIN: Billie Reed. Her and I have had a rapport as of late, it shouldn't be too hard to convince her, and if she's on side, Kate and Lucas will easily follow suit.
TYLER: Let's do it.   Justin zips up his bag, and pulls his cell phone from his front pocket on his soft briefcase.   JUSTIN: I'll have Billie meet me at the office. ALEX: Excellent.   As Justin steps out of the room, Tyler shakes Alex's hand.   TYLER: I'll see you all at Titan, then. Good work, men.
ALEX: Absolutely. See you.   Tyler steps out of the Kiriakis mansion, his tension immediately lessens, as he exhales loudly.   TYLER: Let's just hope this stops everything from falling apart, now. Titan can't afford any more problems. And neither can I.   Tyler steps away, heading off for his car to head to Titan.   ---  
Daniel and Chloe pace the main lobby at City Hall, as they wait for Marlena and Sami to finish grilling Eric and Nicole on their now-not-so-secret wedding.   CHLOE: How do you think it's going in there?
DANIEL: Ohhh, pretty terrible, I'm sure.
CHLOE: I was afraid you'd say that.   Daniel sighs, putting his hands in his pockets as he looks toward the elevator door, expecting anyone from the family to step out.   DANIEL: Well...Sami's anger is all at Nicole, but I also don't think Marlena took too kindly to being shut out of her son's wedding, and personally, I can't blame her.   Chloe looks up at Daniel, nodding gently in agreement. She turns toward the elevator, looking very concerned for her friend.   ---  
Nicole stands with Sami in the Justice of the Peace's office at Salem City Hall. Visibly uncomfortable, Nicole folds her arms, as Sami looks back at her. Sami steps towards Nicole, arms folded, shaking her head at Nicole.   SAMI: You know, I'm really impressed by your chutzpah, Nicole. Sneaking away the first chance you get to marry my brother like that.    Nicole rolls her eyes at Sami's petulence.   SAMI: And it's funny, because you're doing it on company time, too. 
NICOLE: Sami--
SAMI: You are SO lucky that your big report airs this week, because otherwise I'd have grounds to fire you.   Nicole looks at Sami, who's still staring her down, trying to intimidate her. Nicole holds firm.   NICOLE: If you try to have me fired, I will sue you for wrongful termination. And I will win.
SAMI: (laughs) Oh yeah right, Nicole. Even you're not that stupid.   Nicole ignores Sami's petty comments and speaks firmly and cuttingly in response, never taking her eyes off Sami.   NICOLE: I'll win because everyone in the entire state knows how much you hate me. You are so petty. Really, Sami, you're better than this. Don't even TRY to fire me.
SAMI: Oh why? So you can sink your claws even deeper into my brother? You know, it wouldn't surprise me if you had found those files on Dr. Chyka and you'd just been hiding them all along? That's how desperate you are, Nicole.   Nicole stirs uncomfortably at Sami's insinuation.  
---     ---  
Marlena and Eric step into the waiting room at City Hall, Marlena closing the door behind them.    Eric looks over at Marlena, clearly displeased by Marlena and Sami's intervening in their wedding.   ERIC: Look, Mom, I said it in the other room, and I'll say it again. I have really nothing more to say about this.   Marlena holds up on hand to try to stop Eric from continuing.   MARLENA: I know. I know, but hear me out, anyway.   Eric sighs, and shakes his head as him mom carries on.   MARLENA: Eric, this is your wedding day. And, regardless of who you're marrying, I think your father and I deserved to be there.
ERIC: Mom, you knew that this was just a private little ceremony and that we were going to take our time and plan a big wedding with all the family down the road.
MARLENA: I know. But that doesn't change the fact that this....this looks like you're running away from something. And I'm pretty sure I know exactly what it is.   Eric looks at Marlena, annoyed by Marlena's prying.   ---   Nicole stands in front of Sami, arms folded, uncomfortable with Sami's insinuation, but trying to deflect.   NICOLE: You know, Sami. I would have to be really sick to keep something so important from the man I love.   Sami looks at Nicole, a smug, mocking smile on her face, almost laughing as she responds.   SAMI: Yeah. Real sick. Sounds just like you.   Nicole rolls her eyes, and starts to head for the door.   NICOLE: I don't have to listen to any more of thi--   Sami grabs Nicole's arm as she walks past, stopping Nicole from leaving the room.   SAMI: Oh no, not so fast, Nicole.
NICOLE: Sami, there is absolutely nothing you can do. Eric and I are married. And nothing you, or Marlena can say is going to change that.    Nicole rips her arm away from Sami, and glares back at her.   NICOLE: If you'll excuse me.   Nicole turns to leave the room, leaving an annoyed Sami behind.   ---  
Billie sits at her office at Titan, behind her desk, finishing a phone call while putting away some papers in her desk drawer.   BILLIE: He'll be at the airport at 11:40am? Perfect. Okay, thanks, Shane. Yeah, I'll pick him up and fill him in. Great. Bye.   Billie hangs up the phone, breathing a bit of a sigh of relief, when she hears a knock at the door.   BILLIE: Come in!  
The door opens, and Justin steps in. Billie looks up at him and smiles.   BILLIE: Justin! How are you?   Justin looks a bit less than enthused as he away from the door, closing it behind him.   JUSTIN: I've...been better. BILLIE: Uh oh. What's happening?
JUSTIN: Well...I don't know if you heard about the attack on the Titan server last night.   Billie looks down, debating momentarily whether she should speak on it or not.   BILLIE: I uh...I had. In fact, I was trying to stop it from happening...but someone beat me to it.   Justin looks at Billie, confused and surprised.   ---   Valerie walks through the main hall of her home, turning the lights out, and grabbing her coat and bag from the coat rack by her front door.   VALERIE: Okay...oven's off. Got my laptop. Got my...   As she grabs her jacket, she feels in her pocket, suddenly realizing she doesn't have her hospital key card.   VALERIE: Damn it...where's my key card.   Valerie frantically searches her purse, hoping to find the key card, but to no avail.   VALERIE: (sigh) Where is that damn thing?   ---  
Jerome steps toward Valerie's office at University Hospital, carefully checking to make sure the coast is clear, before pulling Valerie's key card from his pocket. He carefully inserts the card into the card reader on the door, unlocking it.   Checking once again to make sure there's no one around, he opens the door and quickly steps inside, closing the door behind him.   Once inside, he turns the office light on, heading for the office's desktop computer. At Valerie's desk, he moves the mouse slightly, waking the dormant machine back up.    JEROME: Computer still on, and logged in. Grandma, you need to work on your computer security a bit.   Double checking the info on his phone momentarily, he goes online, and accesses Crystal's e-mail. Quickly digging into his bag, Jerome pulls a USB from his bag, and plugs it into Valerie's computer. After a moment, a program loads.   JEROME: Alright. Let's open you up.   The program deciphers Crystal's password character by character, slowly plugging in the resulting characters into password input box on the screen.   JEROME: Come on...come on.   After a minute, the password is entered, and Jerome presses "enter" to login to Crystal's e-mail account.   Inside, he finds the first e-mail, sent by Dr. Valerie Grant. He smiles, as he notices it hasn't been marked as "read". He quickly deletes the e-mail, and empties the trash folder, covering his tracks, before quickly logging out.   JEROME: Alright, Sheryl. You are now officially Nurse Crystal Clarke.   ---

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DAYS #123: Jordan shows off her engagement ring to Kate, Jerome and Abby make a date

EPISODE 123
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Jerome sits down in front of Sheryl's new laptop, inside her grungy motel room at the edge of Salem. As Sheryl paces behind him, almost supervising him as he works, Jerome types away, intensely focused at the screen as he helps formulate a plan to help Sheryl.   JEROME: There we go. And that should also give you access to Billie as well, since she'll be at this event with the rest of the Titan executive.   Sheryl takes a moment, and smiles. She nods and puts her hand on Jerome's shoulder in approval.   SHERYL: Yeah, I think this is good.  Billie Reed, you're gonna pay for what you've done to me...and I'm gonna make sure of it.   Sheryl smiles and laughs to herself as she thinks of what's to come.   ---  
Kate and Billie walk through town square, chatting as they sip their morning lattes. From the far end of the square, Rafe and Jordan emerge, holding each other. Kate looks over and stops dead.   KATE: Oh God.    Billie looks at Kate, baffled by what's distracted her mother.   BILLIE: What?   Billie follows Kate's eyes, and finds a happy Jordan and Rafe approaching them.  Jordan and Rafe smile as they come up to them, Jordan with a much less friendly smile than Rafe.   BILLIE: Oh.
JORDAN: Good morning, ladies!   Kate looks at Jordan, purse-lipped and scowling eyes.   KATE: Jordan.   Kate looks over to Rafe, a sudden shift to a more pleasant expression as she greets her ex-lover.   KATE: Rafe, how are you doing?
RAFE: Can't complain.
KATE: That's good.   Kate looks back at Jordan's smiling face, and works hard to resist rolling her eyes.   KATE: I wish I could say the same.   Billie elbows her mother to try to keep the interaction polite, Kate flashes a dirty look Billie's way.   BILLIE: (under her breath) Mom!
KATE: (quietly) Ow!   Jordan, ignoring the jab, keeps on smiling, as she excitedly tells Kate her news, knowing how much it'll irritate Kate.   JORDAN: Listen, Kate, I'm so glad to see you. I just couldn't wait to show you.   Kate looks confused, and mostly disinterested, as Jordan pulls her arm from around Rafe.   KATE: Show me what?   Kate gasps, and Billie does as well, as Jordan extends her hand, showing off her gorgeous new engagement ring.   JORDAN: Rafe and I are getting married. Isn't that great?   Kate and Billie look at each other, Kate in some kind of revulsion, Billie remaining stunned with surprise.   KATE: Just...fantastic.   ---  
Nicole, Sami, Eric, and Marlena stand in the Justice of the Peace's office at Salem City Hall. Nicole is standing uncomfortably, arms folded, as Sami stares her down, intimidating her with a bold question.   SAMI: I know you've been cozying up to Nick and Percy the Greetings guy for the EnerNext story, but we all know Nick never does anything out of the goodness of his heart...so, tell us, Nicole...what's he got on you that's got you so nervous? Hm?   Nicole looks over at Eric, and shakes her head.   NICOLE: He doesn't have anything, Sami. Don't be ridiculous. The only thing that Nick wants is to tell his story, and that's to help his friend stop this stupid oil sands project.
SAMI: Oh please. You're not seriously gonna tell me that this rushed wedding isn't some kind of ruse to snow my brother before the other shoe drops, are you? I know you, Nicole.
NICOLE: No, you don't, Sami. Not as well as you think you do. I've changed. Loving Eric has helped me change.    Marlena interjects, stepping in to stop Nicole's saccharine story.   MARLENA: How touching. But if you've really changed as much as you say, don't you think having Eric's family be there for his wedding day would've been a nice gesture? His father is dying, Nicole. Why would you want to deny him that?   Eric cuts in as well, trying to stop his family from ganging up on Nicole.   ERIC: Hey, come on now! Don't lay that at Nicole's feet. We discussed this already. Like the adults that we are. And I know that's hard for either of you to believe, but we are grown adults who can make our own decisions. We decided that it would be better to take some time and find a way to make this easier for you all to accept, and THEN we were going to plan a big wedding. That was MY idea.
MARLENA: Eric, by then it might be too late for your father. He's declining every day. The other night, he ran off and slept in the park in 40 degree weather. He was that confused. He deserved to be here today. I deserved to be here, regardless of what I think of Nicole. I would have respected your decision.   Eric balks at his mother's statement, shaking his head in disbelief.   ERIC: Yeah. Yeah, your showing up here in a fit of rage, the two of you, shows me exactly how much respect my decision would've gotten had I done it your way. At least this way we get it all out in one shot, instead of weeks and weeks of people trying to guilt me out of marrying the woman I love.   Eric puts his arm around Nicole's waist. She snuggles in close to him.   ERIC: So you can save your guilt trips. Nicole and I are married, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.   Sami and Marlena look at each other, then at Eric and Nicole, deeply unhappy about Eric's words.   --- ---  
Justin approaches Tyler in the Kiriakis living room, while Alex gets up from his seat, both Alex and Justin curious about Tyler's stern warning.   JUSTIN: I'm sorry...Nick Fallon is going to torpedo the company? Nick Fallon works in the cosmetics lab at MadWorld. How is HE going to destroy all of Titan?
NICK: Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but he knows everything. And probably about everyone.   Alex puts his hands on his hips, still not following what Tyler's saying.   ALEX: What does he know?
JUSTIN: Ahh...long story.
ALEX: Well, I've got nothing but time for this.   Justin sighs, holding the bridge of his nose momentarily while he looks down at the floor. Tyler resists momentarily before he turns toward Alex and begins.   TYLER: Basically, Victor never got rid of the shadier parts of his business. We all knew this. But he tried to keep them separate from the main Titan business, all sort of his attempt to appear legitimate once Isabella died.  
As Tyler says this, Noelle emerges from upstairs, doing her hair up in the pony tail as she walks down the steps casually. Midway, she overhears Tyler, and stops to listen, slowly, quietly heading down toward the living room, making sure to remain out of sight.   TYLER: But he kept them all at an arms length through my business, using shell corporations to launder money whenever there needed to be any transfer of capital or resources to Titan. Now that Titan's in trouble, that's when he decided to, quote-unquote "buy out" EnerNext. When EnerNext was just a branch of the other business that I had been working on for the past twenty years.
ALEX: So you're telling me that EnerNext is basically an oil company that's mostly been used as a front for gambling, loan sharking, and smuggling this entire time, and only the bare minimum's been going to actual oil production?   Tyler sighs, nodding as he continues his story.   TYLER: Just enough to make us look legit to the outside. Now, granted, we did do a lot of work trying to partner with firms in the middle east to tap into those resources, but we ran into...complications.   From the foyer, Noelle smiles widely, loving all the turmoil and shady dealings that Titan has undertaken, and relishing the worries that it'll be exposed.   In the living room, Justin cuts in, hoping to stop Tyler from overdivulging to Alex.   JUSTIN: Look, this isn't really...relevant, nor is it something we really want everyone to know about. So...the important thing here is, how does Nick know about this, why does he want to use this against his own employer, and what are we gonna do about it?   ---   Jerome steps off the elevator at University Hospital. He looks around after stepping off, and looks down at his phone momentarily to text Sheryl.   at UH. will fix email for u. will text when done  
Putting his phone away, he notices Abby hugging Maggie outside Victor's hospital room, and approaches her.   JEROME: Well good morning!
ABBY: Oh, hey!
JEROME: Hey, I didn't expect to see you so fresh so early.   Abby chuckles to herself, blushing a bit as she responds to Jerome.   ABBY: Well, I'm a pretty early riser, plus, I had a lot to do today, and I had to check in on my Aunt Maggie's husband, who's a patient right now, so...   Jerome turns to face Maggie, extending a hand to her to shake, they smile warmly at each other.   JEROME: Jerome Grant.   Maggie's eyes widen in recognition before they shake hands, and Maggie jumps slightly, pointing toward Jerome, excitedly.   MAGGIE: OH! You're Valerie's grandson!   Jerome laughs as he answers.   JEROME: Yeah! How did you know?
MAGGIE: Ohh, we've known Valerie a lot of years. I was married into the Horton family for...well...most of my life, and we all knew and loved Valerie very much.    Jerome smiles back at Maggie, and finally does shake her hand.   JEROME: Well, it is good to meet you, Maggie. I hope your husband makes it out of here soon.   Maggie smiles warmly, but with a hint of sadness.   MAGGIE: I hope so, Jerome. And thank you.
ABBY: Listen, Maggie. I gotta head to the station, and I wanted to talk with Jerome, so I will see you later. Let me know if anything changes with Victor, okay?
MAGGIE: Absolutely. I'll talk to you later, Abby! Nice to meet you, Jerome.
JEROME: Likewise, Mrs. Kiriakis!   As Abby and Jerome step away, Abby looks playfully at Jerome.   ABBY: So...what brings you by here?
JEROME: Well, I had a little something to take care of for my grandma but...then I saw you and figured I'd maybe...ask you for a late breakfast?
ABBY: I could be persuaded...but I do need to get to the station. Nicole's big exposé on EnerNext airs tomorrow night, and we need to tighten up a lot of stuff before then, so...it all falls to me.   Jerome looks deeply into Abby's eyes, smiling widely, almost transfixed by his attraction to her.   JEROME: Edward R. Murrow would be proud. You don't see that kinda journalism anymore. Taking down the bad guys against all the pressure from big business? I admire that.   Abby giggles, blushing a little more as she averts her eyes for a moment, then looking back up at Jerome.   ABBY: Well, it isn't really my doing, but I'll take all the credit if you want.
JEROME: Hah...alright...well...if a late breakfast is no good...how 'bout I stop by around 2 and we'll make it a late lunch. That work?
ABBY: It's a date.
JEROME: Is it?
ABBY: You bet it is.   Abby winks as she walks off, heading for the elevator, catching glimpses back at Jerome, who still can't take his eyes off her.   ---   At Horton Town Square, Jordan stands before a stunned Billie and Kate, showing off her engagement ring to Rafe, who stands next to her. JORDAN: I know, it's probably nothing compared to the flashy, ostentatious stuff you would normally wear, Kate, but...for me, it's...better than all the money in the world. Anyway, I gotta go. Rafe? I'll see you after work?
RAFE: You got it, babe.   Jordan turns and wraps her arms around Rafe, and they kiss lovingly, making Kate visibly uncomfortable.   Jordan breaks the kiss, and waves at Billie and Kate as she happily trots away. Rafe watching Jordan lovingly as she walks away.   JORDAN: Bye!   Kate gives Jordan major sideye, and Billie waves politely. Once only Billie, Kate, and Rafe remain, Billie decides the time is right to make herself scarce to give Rafe and Kate a chance to talk alone.   BILLIE: Ahh...so they have free refills at the Java Café, so...I'm gonna...re...fill myself...a cup...yeah.   Billie steps away in a hurry, leaving only Rafe and Kate behind. Kate looks at Rafe with disappointment, but tries to feign happiness for her ex-.   KATE: I suppose congratulations are in order.
RAFE: Kate...
KATE: No, no. No...look...I knew whatever it was between us wasn't going to work, there was way too much in our way, between Stefano and...   Rafe reaches out to try to take listen, but she won't, and steps away from Rafe's hand.
RAFE: Kate, come on.
KATE: ...No, Rafe. I gave you the space, because there was so much happening at work, and...well, I guess I stupidly thought you and Jordan wouldn't last. I was wrong. So, I hope you're happy together. Because, I personally don't think you know what you're getting yourself into, and I don't want you to end up heartbroken at the end of all of this.    Rafe reaches out again to Kate, who tries to resist showing any vulnerability, but Kate steps away, heading back toward the café to meet Billie.   KATE: It's good to see you, Rafe. Congratulations.
RAFE: Kate...KATE.   Rafe watches as Kate walks away, frustrated and disappointed by how their conversation turned out.   ---   Marlena stands with Eric, Nicole, and Sami, and takes Eric's hand for a second.   MARLENA: Eric...I'm sorry. Listen, can we...can we step into the waiting room down the hall and talk for a moment in private?
ERIC: Mom, I don't know what we have to talk abo--
MARLENA: Please. Please just...let's...I promise, I won't say anything to attack Nicole, I just...I want you to understand where I'm coming from, okay?   Nicole looks up at Eric, and lets go from his embrace. She nods approvingly at Eric.   NICOLE: Go ahead.   Eric sighs, before shaking his head, and stepping toward the doorway.   ERIC: Okay. Sure...sure, Mom. Let's go.   Eric and Marlena step out into the hallway, leaving Nicole and Sami behind. Sami stands with cocked eyebrow, arms folded, and an imposing stance, as Nicole rolls her eyes, uncomfortable around Sami.   SAMI: And then there were two.   Nicole glares back at a smug-looking Sami.   ---
 

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DAYS # 122: EJ tries to convince Sonny to follow his plan, Marlena & Sami crash Eric & Nicole's wedding

EPISODE 122
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Alex stands, tablet in hand, in the Kiriakis living room. He taps a few spots on his tablet screen before handing his tablet to a waiting Justin, who sits in the easy chair nearby, looking baffled.   ALEX: Mom's decided to follow in Harper's footsteps.
JUSTIN: I'm hoping you mean that exclusively in the political sense.   Justin studies the electronic edition of the Salem Spectator for a moment, before looking up at his son, stunned by the news.   ALEX: Well...considering her history...it could go either way.
JUSTIN: We need to tread really carefully here.    Justin hands back Alex's tablet, deeply contemplative, as Alex places the tablet back in his briefcase, nodding in agreement with his father.   ALEX: Exactly. If she supports EnerNext, and her past becomes tabloid fodder, we could go down in flames with her.
JUSTIN: Or, on the other hand, we distance ourselves from her, she reacts by campaigning against the oil sands, and she wins...
ALEX: And the project could be dead in the water as well.   Justin nods, trying in vain to think of a solution.   JUSTIN: (sigh) There's only one way to deal with it. And it's not one I'm a big fan of. We have to wait for her to make the first move.   Alex sighs, equally frustrated by the spot they now find themselves in.   ---  
EJ follows an enraged Sonny into the Brady Pub, where he puts a hand on Sonny's shoulder, forcing him to turn to face him.   SONNY: What do you want, EJ?   EJ leans in closer to Sonny, speaking softly so as not to catch the attention of the rest of the pub.   EJ: Listen, you and I need to have a serious chat about what's going on with Gabi.
SONNY: Oh, you mean, you want to convince me that putting a deadly weapon in an apartment with a toddler is a smart idea? I don't think so.
EJ: Sonny, stop. Okay? I know you're angry about this. Trust me, I wasn't too keen on coming by with that gun, myself. But you have to understand exactly what's happening and why I'm so worried about Gabi.   Sonny looks at EJ, unconvinced, but willing to listen. Barely.   SONNY: Alright, I'll bite. But this better be the best explanation you've ever given anyone, so help me.   EJ nods solemnly, acknowledging the gravity of the situation.   ---  
Nicole, Eric, Chloe and Daniel stand in the office of the Justice of the Peace, stunned by the sudden arrival of Marlena and Sami at the conclusion of Eric and Nicole's wedding.   ERIC: Mom! Sami, what are you guys doing here?   Sami storms into the room towards Eric. Nicole steps in to ward off Sami from Eric.   SAMI: Stopping you from making the biggest mistake of your life.
NICOLE: Well, you're too late.   Nicole stares down Sami for a moment, before looking Marlena's way, smiling defiantly at both of them.   NICOLE: Eric and I are already married.   Nicole takes Eric's hand, and attempts to walk him out of the office, but Sami stops him, as Marlena advances to try to intervene as well.   NICOLE: So if you'll excuse us--
MARLENA: Oh no you won't!    Marlena attempts to intimidate Nicole as well, staring at her intensely before turning to Daniel and Chloe.   MARLENA: Daniel. Chloe. Would you excuse us a moment?   Chloe and Daniel look at each other, gravely concerned for what's to come, before Daniel puts his hand on the small of Chloe's back, guiding her to the door.
Justice of the Peace Watkins surveys the situation and addresses Marlena as well.   JP WATKINS: I'll...uh...I'll see myself out as well.
MARLENA: Thank you.   Marlena turns back toward Eric and Nicole.   MARLENA: I think it's time, we all had a little talk.   Nicole looks exasperated, looking at Eric to see a similarly frustrated expression on his face.   ---     ---   Sonny and EJ sit down at a booth at the Brady Pub. Both with coffees in hand, they look at each other solemnly.   SONNY: Well? I'm waiting.   EJ sips his coffee, before looking at Sonny, keeping his voice low so as not to alarm anyone.   EJ: Look, Sonny...all I can say is that Gabi has been trying so hard to get Nick out of everyone's life before he goes too far, and at every turn he's evaded us so far. 
SONNY: But then why does that mean you have to go to such extreme lengths to get rid of him?
EJ: Sonny, come on. This is Nick Fallon we're talking about. He's a convicted murderer, and kindapper. He tried to rape Gabi, and tried to manipulate her into leaving the state with him, just so he could keep her daughter away from you and Will. We know what he's capable of, and we know what he can do to all of us if we don't deal with him exactly the right way.   Sonny leans in, emphatically pointing at EJ as he responds sternly.   SONNY: That does NOT mean you bring a gun into our home. I know full well what Nick is capable of. Quite frankly, he terrifies me. But I know that that gun is only going to escalate things. And someone's gonna end up hurt...or dead.
EJ: I agree. But where you and I differ, Sonny...is that I see it as an inevitability, whether or not Gabi has a weapon at her disposal. The difference being that, unarmed, there's a far greater chance that the person who may be killed is Gabi, or Will...or yourself. And I can't allow that to happen.   Sonny looks at EJ, then looks down into his cup of coffee, deep in contemplation.   ---   Nicole folds her arms, as the door to the Justice of the Peace's office shuts, leaving only Marlena, Sami, Eric and Nicole inside.   NICOLE: Well, if you're going to try to get me to leave, you can save your breath. I'm not going anywhere.
SAMI: But God knows I wish you would.   Nicole shoots a look at Sami, snapping back at her snarky remark.   NICOLE: Well, too bad, Sami. I'm his wife now.
SAMI: I swear to God, Nicole, if I had legal grounds to, I'd be firing you so fast right now.
NICOLE: But you can't. And I'd like to see you try to make that hold up in court--   Eric steps in, cutting Nicole and Sami's argument off.   ERIC: ...Okay, enough. Both of you. Listen, I don't know how the two of you found out about this wedding, but we weren't doing this to pull one over on you.
MARLENA: Well, you could have fooled me. Eric, I know you're hurting over what happened with Kristen, and I know you feel some kind of gratitude toward Nicole for trying to track down Dr. Chyka, but to sneak around behind everyone's back and MARRY her?
ERIC: Mom, I am in love with her. Whether you and Sami believe it or not. And we were going to tell you--
SAMI: Oh, when?
ERIC: As soon as we figured out the best way. We were going to...take our time, let things settle down with dad, and...hopefully give you some time to start seeing Nicole in a different light.   Sami rolls her eyes, laughing at the thought of forgiving Nicole. Eric ignores his sister's petulence and continues.   ERIC: And when the time was right, we were going to let you know, and plan a big wedding for the family. But we wanted the time to allow you to accept our relationship first.
MARLENA: So to do that, you had to marry first? You couldn't wait for us to accept her and THEN marry?
ERIC: Mom, I just...I didn't want to wait.
SAMI: No, Nicole didn't want to wait. Because, like usual, Nicole rushes into things when she's up to something.   Sami steps in closer to Nicole, making her squirm.   SAMI: I know you've been cozying up to Nick and Percy the Greetings guy for the EnerNext story, but we all know Nick never does anything out of the goodness of his heart...so, tell us, Nicole...what's he got on you that's got you so nervous? Hm?   Nicole glares at Sami, visibly uncomfortable.   ---  
Jerome shuts the door to the motel room, a laptop bag in his hand, which he sets down on the desk for Sheryl.   JEROME: Okay. I pulled some strings and got you a basic laptop so you can get what you need done while you're out here.   Sheryl steps over to the desk, arms folded. She looks down as Jerome opens the screen, and plugs the USB stick into the laptop.   SHERYL: Great. So this has everything I need?
JEROME: I recorded the interview with my grandmother, took a copy of her resumé, and did a search on her professional profile. I think that we've got enough here that you'd be able to fool the people at University Hospital pretty easily into thinking you're Crystal.
SHERYL: Well...it's not like they know her.
JEROME: Exactly. Valerie's the only one who's spoken to her, and you'll just have to work on Jordan until you're able to get her alone and get her out of there, and then you can get out of town.   Sheryl smirks, putting a hand on Jerome's shoulder.   SHERYL: You do think of everything, don't you?
JEROME: I try.
SHERYL: Just one thing you didn't think of.   Jerome turns back toward Sheryl, confused.   JEROME: What's that?
SHERYL: What we're gonna do about Billie Reed. She's the only one who knows it's me, and not Nick that put that virus on the server. If we don't take her out somehow, the entire plan falls apart.   Jerome looks back at the laptop screen, sighing under his breath, as he thinks about what to do about Billie.   ---  
Justin packs up to head off for the office, as Alex finishes his cup of coffee, still deep in thought about how to deal with his mother's campaign for governor, and the server breach at Titan, when Henderson walks into the room, with Tyler in tow.   HENDERSON: Good morning, gentlemen. A Mr. Houston to see you.
JUSTIN: Thanks, Henderson, have him come in.   Henderson stands back to allow Tyler to come in, before exiting the room.   TYLER: Justin! Alex! I'm glad I caught you before you headed in for the day. I think we need to have a bit of a talk.
ALEX: Us? I thought we were having an emergency board meeting today?
TYLER: We are. And it's an all-departments one so you'll be expected to join us, Alex. But the three of us are going to have to come up with an action plan beforehand.   Justin turns to look at Tyler, confused.   JUSTIN: Action plan? For what?
TYLER: For how exactly we're going to make sure Nick Fallon doesn't singlehandedly torpedo this entire company.   Alex and Justin look at each other, more baffled than ever. Tyler looks at both of them with deadly seriousness.   ---

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DAYS #121: Sami & Marlena, wedding crashers?

EPISODE 121
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Alex comes down the steps of the Kiriakis mansion, adjusting his tie as he prepares for work. At the bottom of the steps, he turns to enter the living room, finding Justin there, as he ends a call on his cell phone.   JUSTIN: (into phone) Yeah, thanks. I'll be there.   Hanging up, Justin turns to face Alex.   JUSTIN: Alex! Good morning!
ALEX: Hey, Dad. I've uh...I've got some news.
JUSTIN: Yeah, so do I. Uh...you want a cup of coffee before you head out?   Alex walks into the living room and sits down on the sofa, as Justin steps over to the caraffe placed on a silver tray in the corner.   ALEX: Yeah, sure. Thanks.   Justin pours Alex a cup, as well as one for himself, and hands one over to his son. He then sits down in the easy chair next to Alex.   ALEX: So uh...what's your news?
JUSTIN: Well...it looks like we've got a hell of a day ahead of us...someone tried to break into the Titan server last night, someone who was trying to sabotage the EnerNext project.   Alex looks up at his dad, surprised and concerned.   ---  
Jerome walks back into the living room from the kitchen at the Grant house, finding Valerie sitting in her living room, finishing up her interview with Crystal Clarke, the nurse she's looking to hire at University Hospital. She makes a final note on her notepad, before looking up at the screen.   VALERIE: Alright, I think that's everything I need. Listen, Crystal, you've really impressed me, so...I can't guarantee anything, but there's a very good chance you'll be coming on board with us at University Hospital.
CRYSTAL: (through the computer) Oh that's great, thank you so much!
VALERIE: Now, I have to check your references, but either way, I'll let you know by this afternoon if you have the job or not, okay?   Jerome stands back, out of his grandmother's sight, listening in on the end of the interview. As he does, he looks toward the coat rack by the door, and quietly as possible, makes his way over to it.   Jerome smiles widely as he realizes his plan's coming together nicely. He leans into Valerie's coat pocket, and pulls out her hospital key card, slyly placing it in his own pocket, as Valerie finishes up her interview, oblivious to Jerome's theft.   CRYSTAL: (through the computer) I can't wait. Thanks again, Dr. Grant.
VALERIE: It's no trouble at all, Crystal. I'll speak to you soon.   Valerie shuts her computer and Jerome comes into the living room about then. Valerie looks up, and smiles.   VALERIE: Oh hi, Baby. 
JEROME: Hey Grandma!
VALERIE: Did you get yourself a cup of coffee from the kitchen?
JEROME: Yeah! Yeah I did. Hey...uh...how did the interview go?
VALERIE: Oh, extremely well. I'm absolutely going to be hiring her. I just...you know, I can't say it straight out or else I can get into all kinds of trouble.   Jerome hangs back, as Valerie gets up from her seat on the couch, and picks up her laptop from the table, putting it in her laptop bag.   JEROME: So how soon will you have her come to Salem, then?
VALERIE: Well...if everything works out right...I'm hoping we can have her up here by the end of this week.   Jerome nods, trying to hide a smile as he collects his information for Sheryl's plan.   ---  
At the office of the Justice of the Peace, Eric, Nicole, and Daniel wait with the Justice of the Peace for Chloe's arrival. As they mill about, chatting excitedly, the door opens. Chloe pokes her head in and smiles, calling out to the group in a singsong voice.   CHLOE: I'm heeeere!   Nicole screams in excitement as she runs over to give her best friend a hug.   NICOLE: Ohhhh I'm so glad you could make it.
CHLOE: Ohhh I wouldn't miss this for the world.    As they pull out of their hug, they hold each other's hands and smile at each other.   CHLOE: You have no idea how happy I am for both of you. You deserve this, Nicole.
NICOLE: Thank you.   Nicole turns toward everyone else, a big, glowing smile on her face.   NICOLE: Well, I guess we should get started.   Nicole steps toward Eric, and the Justice of the Peace, while Daniel and Chloe stand behind them, as Eric takes Nicole's hand in hers, and looks deeply into her eyes, as they begin the ceremony.   ---  
Sami and Marlena sit in traffic, Sami anxiously trying to find a way to escape the endless traffic jam she finds herself in.   MARLENA: Do you know when they were planning to start the ceremony?
SAMI: No idea. Nick just said they were headed there now, so I don't think we have much time.
MARLENA: Oh God. What is Eric THINKING?
SAMI: Oh come on, you know Nicole's his achilles heel, Mom. She's suckered him in once before.
MARLENA: You're right...I just hope we aren't already too late.   Marlena looks out the window and sees the next exit clearing up ahead. She frantically points toward it to get Sami's attention.   MARLENA: Sami! Take the next exit, right there. Quick!
SAMI: I'm on it!   Sami quickly puts her signal on, turning out into the next lane to make their way off the crowded highway.   ---     ---  
Gabi and Will stand in their living room, looking down at the gun that EJ has handed Gabi for protection. Will sighs as he slowly looks up at Gabi.   WILL: I hate to say this but...EJ was right to give you this.
GABI: You won't hear any argument from me.   Gabi starts to walk away toward the kitchen area to put on a pot of coffee. Will watches her walk off, surprised by her appearance of nonchalance.   WILL: You don't seem the least bit fazed by this.    Gabi stops, as she grabs the caraffe from the coffee maker. She looks at Will and shrugs.   GABI: Will, I'm doing what I have to do to protect all of us.   Will looks on at Gabi, incredulous.   WILL: You don't think this is just a bit...extreme? Gabi, this should be such a red flag to you of how far this whole situation has gone. Don't you see how deep you've got yourself involved in all this?   Gabi runs the water, filling up the caraffe, before turning and placing the caraffe down on the countertop, exasperated.   GABI: Don't you think I know that? Don't you think I've replayed this over and over and over in my mind a million times? I'm terrified, Will. I'm fighting for my life, and your life, and Sonny's life...but most important is that little girl over there.    Gabi points toward Ari sitting in her crib, Will looks over at his daughter momentarily, a mix of love and worry in his eyes, as Gabi continues, growing increasingly emotional, before starting to tear up.   GABI: I am fighting to make sure that Arianna doesn't have to live another day with the threat of that sick bastard hanging over all our heads. I want that little girl to grow up with her family around her. And I am running out of ways to do that. And I am scared, Will. I am so scared.   Will looks back at Gabi, realizing how terrified shs really is for the first time, and responds softly.   WILL: You don't have to be scared, Gabi. We're all here for you--   Gabi snaps, cutting Will off as she becomes more and more emotional.   GABI: YOU CAN'T GUARANTEE THAT, WILL! Not if we don't do something to stop Nick. And fast. Because I will not let my daughter lose her parents, or her grandparents because of that sleaze. EVER.   Will stares at an almost-crazed Gabi, both of them deeply worried and deeply upset by their circumstance. Will walks over to an emotional Gabi and gives her a hug, as Gabi begins to sob on his shoulder.   ---   Alex looks at his father, totally stunned by the news he's just heard.   ALEX: I'm sorry, what?
JUSTIN: The um...the same people that hacked the City Hall server yesterday that was in the news? They tried to break into Titan's servers last night, and corrupt all the files associated with the EnerNext oil sands project, including all your promotional work you've been working on with Will. ALEX: Oh my God.   Justin holds up a hand, hoping to stop Alex from freaking out.   JUSTIN: Now, hold on. Before you panic, we stopped them in time, but you have to know, it's someone in the graphic design department that's responsible.
ALEX: That means they're under my watch.   Justin nods, uncomfortable sharing the news with his son.   JUSTIN: Yeah. Now, Tyler may have something to say about that. Umm, for now the press doesn't know, but they want to hold an emergency board meeting about it later today, and...hopefully, we can get some of this sorted out.   Alex looks down, away from Justin's gaze. He tries to soak in all the information, momentarily holding his head in his hands.   ALEX: God. When it rains, it pours, doesn't it?
JUSTIN: You can say that again.   Alex gets up from his seat and begins to pace the room, Justin looks on, trying to reassure him.   JUSTIN: Listen, I don't think anything grave is going to happen where your department is concerned. I just want to give you the head's up. Keep quiet if anyone calls or any press get wind of it. We need to keep this out of the press at all costs. There's way too much riding on getting this project off the ground.
ALEX: I know, Dad. Don't worry. (sigh) But...that's not even the biggest problem we've got right now.   Justin looks over at Alex, confused.   JUSTIN: What do you mean?   Alex pulls his tablet out from his briefcase, and, after pressing a few spots on the screen, hands it over to Justin.   ALEX: Mom's decided to follow in Harper's footsteps.   Justin studies the electronic edition of the Salem Spectator for a moment, before looking up at his son, surprised by the headline.   ---   Sheryl steps out of the bathroom, her hair wrapped in a towel, and wearing a matching white dressing gown. She hears a heavy knock on the door and quickly makes her way over to the front door of the motel room, checking to see who it is through the peephole. Seeing that it's Jerome, she quickly lets him in, hoping no one sees him.   SHERYL: Get in, get in, get in.   Closing the door behind her, she looks at Jerome expectantly, as Jerome takes off the hat he wore to disguise himself, and reaches into his pocket.   SHERYL: So...what did we get?   Jerome pulls a USB stick from his pocket, and hands it to Sheryl.   JEROME: Everything you need to become Crystal Clarke, RN.   Sheryl cocks an eyebrow, impressed by what Jerome has managed to do.   ---   Sami pulls up to the City Hall, and quickly puts her car in Park and turns the car off.    SAMI: Okay. We're here!
MARLENA: Now, let's just hope we get in there before it's too late.
SAMI: From your mouth to God's ear, Mom.   Ripping the keys from the ignition, she and Marlena, make a made dash inside, hoping to stop the wedding in time.   ...   Justice of the Peace Watkins stands before a beaming Eric and Nicole, as they stand before him, holding each other's hands.   JOP WATKINS: Well, good morning, and I am pleased to stand before you today, to join Nicole, and Eric, in matrimony.   ...   Running up to the front desk, Sami waves frantically, trying to get the attention of the front desk clerk.   DESK CLERK: Can I help you ladies?
MARLENA: Yes, I'm Dr. Marlena Evans, and I--   The desk clerk lights up, recognizing Marlena immediately.   DESK CLERK: Oh my GOSH! Dr. Evans! I remember you from when you used to have that radio show on years ago! Never thought I'd see the day...   Marlena tries to cut her off, impatiently trying to move things along without being rude.   MARLENA: Yes, that was...years ago, listen, my son is getting married today, and we need to know which room they're in. Can you help me and my daughter? We're very late.   The desk clerk smiles, ever-so-casually getting up from her seat, and smiling warmly at Marlena.   DESK CLERK: Oh, for you? Anything, Dr. Evans.
MARLENA: Thank you. I don't mean to be short but we're very late, and I don't want to miss the big moment, so...if you could.   The desk clerk sits herself slowly down at the computer, nodding happily.   DESK CLERK: No trouble at all, Dr. Evans.
MARLENA: Thanks again.   Much to Marlena's chagrin, the desk clerk continues to prattle on as she slowly starts to look up the room for the wedding.   DESK CLERK: You know, you hear all these things about what's happened to you in the years since the show ended, and I think it's just such a shame, all these ridiculous rumours that swirl around, them saying you killed all those people but...really...kidnapped them and...I can't even keep track! (laughs) People really need to stop with all this fake news, you know?   Marlena resists rolling her eyes, as Sami gives Marlena a look of pure irritation.   ...   JOP WATKINS: If anyone sees just cause why these two should not be joined, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace.   After a moment of silence in the room, Nicole quietly laughs, thrilled that the ceremony can go on without objection.   JOP WATKINS: In that case...Eric Brady, do you take Nicole Walker to be your wife?   Eric smiles warmly at Nicole, squeezing her hands gently, as he answers softly.   ERIC: I do.   ...   The desk clerk clicks on a tab on her computer screen, almost too deliberately, before turning toward Marlena and Sami.   DESK CLERK: What did you say your son's name was, Dr. Evans?
MARLENA: Ah, Eric Brady...he's to be married to a Nicole Walker.
DESK CLERK: Alright...   The desk clerk hits "search" on her database window, and the computer begins to work.   After a tense moment, the desk clerk looks back at Marlena and Sami and smiles, slightly apologetically.   DESK CLERK: I don't know if you heard, but the servers were down here yesterday, so it's taking a while for the system to get back into the groove of things. (laughs) Oh, you know technology!   Sami and Marlena smile awkwardly, as Sami responds this time.   SAMI: Oh, do I ever.   ...   JOP WATKINS: Do you, Nicole Walker, take this man, Eric Brady, to be your husband?   Nicole, without a moment's hesitation, excitedly answers, nearly bouncing as she answers.   NICOLE: I do!   Everyone laughs, as Nicole continues to jiggle with girlish excitement.   ....   A moment passes, as Sami cracks her knuckles, unsure whether this relieves any tension, or if she's winding up to punch the desk clerk. Finally, the results come in.   DESK CLERK: Here we go!   Sami and Marlena snap back to the desk, staring attentively, awaiting their answer.   MARLENA: Yes, which room is it?
DESK CLERK: Ooo! You better hurry, it's happening now. It's in Room 341. It's on the third floor, three doors down on your right...
MARLENA: Thank you!   Marlena and Sami take off like a shot for the elevator. The desk clerk barely having time to finish her thought. She looks on, as both Sami and Marlena disappear around the corner.   The desk clerk shouts out to them, while waving.   DESK CLERK: Good luck, Dr. Evans!   The desk clerk sits back down in her seat, her expression immediately changing to one of irritation as she does.   DESK CLERK: Damn society folks in this town, always in such a hurry they forget their manners.   ...   Eric places the wedding ring on Nicole's finger. She beams as she looks at the beautiful silver wedding band.   ERIC: I promise, when we do this properly with the family, I'll have something a little bit more...formal prepared (laughs) but for now....just know that I love you, and I am so grateful that I've been given a second chance with you. I don't know what I'd do without you, Nicole.   Nicole begins to tear up, as she leans in to kiss Eric.   NICOLE: Oh, Eric! I love you too...   As they kiss, the Justice of the Peace makes his final declaration.   JOP WATKINS: By the power vested in me by the state, I now pronounce you, husband and wife.   As he finishes the announcement, and Daniel and Chloe begin to clap in congratulations, the door to his office swings open, and a voice screams out, startling everyone inside.   MARLENA: NO!   Nicole and Eric break their kiss, as they, the Justice of the Peace, Daniel and Chloe turn around with a start, finding a panicked Marlena and Sami standing just inside the doorway.   ---

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DAYS #120: EJ, Gabi, and Will try to talk Sonny down

EPISODE 120
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Sonny stands with EJ in the living room of his apartment, as Gabi lays Ariana down in her crib. Sonny looks at a half-asleep Will, who stands in the doorway to their bedroom. Sonny is mystified by Will's acceptance of EJ gifting Gabi a gun to protect her.   SONNY: What is wrong with you, Will? You think it's a good idea to keep a gun in this house? With your daughter nearby?
WILL: Okay, Sonny, look. Nick has gone off the deep end before, and we all know that. And he has access to our lives in ways we may have absolutely no concept of. What's to stop him from finding a way to kidnap Gabi or Ari? He's already manipulated his way back into Gabi's life, and she was too afraid to say anything. GABI: Not...exactly.
SONNY: What do you mean by that?   EJ interjects, trying to keep Gabi from spilling the beans on their plot.   EJ: Gabi...   Gabi sighs as she turns toward EJ. She shakes her head before she reveals her real plans with Sonny and Will.   GABI: EJ, we can't keep this from them. Look...my trying to reconcile with Nick, it's all been a ruse. Like Will suggested before. I've been trying to reel him in and get him to trust me again so I could use it against him.
WILL: Okay...but...
SONNY: Gabi, please tell me you're not doing anything dangerous.   Gabi shakes her head emphatically.   GABI: No, no. I umm...no, I went on a date with Nick and...well...EJ suggested I get him drunk and...give him his old pain medication to stop his hangover. And then...I replaced his Ibuprofens with lookalikes EJ had made that are really a stronger version of the pain meds Nick got hooked on when he killed Trent Robbins.
SONNY: WHAT?! Gabi, what the--
GABI: I had Hope investigate and I was hoping to have him caught with the pills before his parole ran out so that I could have him arrested, but... Will sighs, putting a hand on his forehead as he finishes Gabi's sentence. WILL: But she didn't find them, and now Nick's back to full-on psycho mode, and if he finds out that Gabi's been duping him...   Sonny turns back toward Gabi and EJ, who both look on very seriously at Will and Sonny.   EJ: You all could be in very grave danger.   ---  
Jerome steps into the living room at the Grant house, just as Valerie is about to begin her video interview with Crystal Clarke, the nurse she's looking to hire at the hospital.   He steps into the room and interrupts her before she hits "connect".   JEROME: Hey! Grandma, just...one thing I forgot to do before you start that call.
VALERIE: Oh! Sure, honey! Go ahead.   Jerome opens up the computer's media player, and sets up the media player to begin recording video and audio of Valerie's computer screen (including the video interview) without Valerie noticing.   Once the recording is set up, he turns the computer back over to Valerie.   JEROME: There you go, Grandma.
VALERIE: Thanks, baby. Okay, here we go.   Valerie hits "connect", and Crystal appears on the screen, ready to start the interview. Jerome hangs back, watching the interview begin with a big smile on his face.   ---  
Sami and Marlena sit in traffic along the highway, desperately trying to get to City Hall in time for Eric and Nicole's wedding.   SAMI: Come on, come on, come on!!   Sami blares on her horn, trying in vain to move traffic. Marlena winces from the noise of the horn blast.   MARLENA: Sami, that's not going to help.
SAMI: No, but it makes me feel better.   After a moment's pause, Marlena looks over, a bit annoyed at Sami's impatience, and dubious of her motives.   MARLENA: And just what, exactly, is Eric doing that's going to ruin his life? You never did explain that one to me.   Sami sighs heavily, not wanting to say anything but deciding there's really no time like the present.   SAMI: well...I guess, since we're stuck here. I might as well tell you.   Marlena snaps back, sick of all the mystery.   MARLENA: Tell me what?
SAMI: Eric's getting married this morning. To Nicole.   Marlena looks back at Sami, completely in disbelief.   ---  
Eric and Nicole step up to the door of the Justice of the Peace's office. They stand together, holding hands, and looking lovingly at each other.   ERIC: You ready?
NICOLE: Am I ever.   Eric opens the door to the office and they step in together, hand in hand.   ---     ---   Eric and Nicole walk into the office of the Justice of the Peace, hand in hand. Both of them smiling widely as the smiling older gentleman behind the desk looks up, greeting them. JUSTICE OF PEACE: Mr. Brady, I presume?
ERIC: Good morning! Mister...
JUSTICE OF PEACE: Greg Watkins.  
Justice of the Peace Watkins extends his hand to Brady and then to Nicole, both of whom graciously shake his hand. As Nicole shakes his hand, Daniel opens the door and steps into the room. Eric and Nicole turn to see who's come in and smile.   DANIEL: I...uh...I heard there was gonna be a wedding in here?   Eric walks over and greets Daniel with a handshake and a hug, as the two laugh.   ERIC: It's good to see you, man.
DANIEL: You too. Nicole, you're looking fantastic.   Nicole smiles and curtsies in jest.   NICOLE: Thank you.
DANIEL: I uh...I'm sorry I was a bit late, I had to drop Billie off at Kate's.   Nicole raises an eyebrow at Daniel after his remark about Billie.   NICOLE: You and Billie, eh?  Sounds like that's getting pretty serious.
DANIEL: Well....you could say that.   Eric smiles, and pats Daniel on the shoulder.   ERIC: I'm really happy for you.   Eric turns toward Nicole and JOP Watkins, checking to see who's here.   ERIC: Are we ready to go?
NICOLE: Uh...just waiting on Chloe.
DANIEL: Chloe texted me about five mintues ago, she's just parking her car. She'll be up in a minute and we can get started.   Nicole walks over to Eric and takes his hands in hers. She beams with excitement as she leans in and quickly kisses her husband-to-be on the lips.   NICOLE: Eeee it's happening!
ERIC: I know! (laughs)   ---   Marlena sits in heavy traffic in Sami's car, stunned by the news that Eric is marrying Nicole.   MARLENA: You've GOT to be joking!
SAMI: I am not.
MARLENA: How did you find this out?
SAMI: Nick Fallon came over this morning. We'd been working on a project for Countess Wilhelmina and, he let me know that he'd found out. I guess to give me a warning as a....bizarre thank you for helping him out.   Marlena looks on, confused by the scenario.   MARLENA: Nick Fallon...but doesn't Nick work for Kate?
SAMI: It's...it's a long story. The point is we have to get to City Hall before that wedding happens.
MARLENA: Oh you're not kidding. After all the hell that woman put Eric through...and you? I'll be damned if she gets her claws into Eric again.   Marlena and Sami stare out the window, internally screaming as they watch the traffic remain at a standstill before them.   ---   Sonny looks to Gabi, completely stunned by her plan to hook Nick back on his meds.   SONNY: Gabi, what did you think was gonna happen when you started feeding Nick those pills?
GABI: I seriously thought that Hope was going to see the pills and arrest him.
SONNY: Oh. Yeah. Hope. Nick's cousin. You know much tension that would cause in the Horton house if they found out Hope was the one that busted Nick? She's not going to bust him even if she DID find the pills.
GABI: As I found out at Brady's wake.   Will looks over at Gabi, interested.   WILL: What do you mean?
GABI: I uh...after I got Nick hooked on the pills, Hope didn't find anything, and so I...had someone grab more of the same pills and he...kinda...stole Marlena's perscription pad so that it would look like Nick was stealing drugs from the hospital...   Sonny interjects, rolling his eyes at Gabi.   SONNY: Oh God, Gabi--
GABI: Well, I had to because by that time, Nick's parole was up and I wouldn't have been able to have mere possession stick, so...unfortunately...
WILL: Let me guess...she wouldn't look into it.   Gabi looks down, arms folded. She looks back over at Will and Sonny and shakes her head. Sonny reacts immediately.   SONNY: Figures. See, Gabi, you're always going off and...taking matters into your own hands when we should be all trying to get through this together.
GABI: Look, I know, okay? But I didn't think you guys needed the added stress with everything else you guys are dealing with right now, and Will starting a new job and you're trying to plan a wedding. I just didn't wanna burden you.
SONNY: Well, consider us sufficiently burdened. Now Nick's so far off the deep end, we have to keep a gun in the apartment. Good job, Gabi.   Gabi looks down, not responding to Sonny's words. Sonny, angry about the situation, grabs his jacket, and heads for the door.   SONNY: I need to go grab a coffee.
WILL: Sonny, wait...   Will jumps in, heading for the door to follow Sonny, hoping to calm him down, but EJ stops him.   EJ: William...I'll...you stay here, I'll...take care of him.   Will stops, before nodding at EJ. EJ takes the gun, and hands it to Will. Will holds it in his hands, as EJ closes the door to the apartment. He and Gabi look down at the gun, grave concern in both their eyes.   ---  
Sheryl lays back in her hotel room at the dive motel at the edge of town where Jerome's put her up. She lies on the bed, watching TV, thoroughly bored. She shouts at the TV as a game show plays.   SHERYL: NO, you idiot, $600!   As she shouts out, the hotel room phone rings. She leans over to pick it up, still annoyed at the contestant on the TV screen.   SHERYL: Dumbass...   Picking up the phone, she speaks, knowing who's calling.   SHERYL: (into phone) What you got for me?   ...   Jerome paces the Grant kitchen, trying to speak just softly enough so that Valerie can't hear him from the living room.   JEROME: (into phone) Okay, so she's doing the interview now, and I'm 100% this chick's got the job.   ...   Sheryl listens, contemplating her plan of action.   SHERYL: (into phone) Okay. So how are we gonna pull this off?   ...   JEROME: (into phone) Simple. I'll try to access her e-mail based on her resumé, and delete the acceptance letter when it comes in, hopefully before she sees it and makes the arrangements, and no one will be the wiser.   ...   SHERYL: (into phone) And if she does?   ...   JEROME: (into phone) Then we cross that bridge when we get to it.   ...   Sheryl sits up in the bed, getting increasingly agitated.   SHERYL: (into phone) No, that's not good enough. There is no recourse on this. If she sees that e-mail and comes to Salem to start this job? We have to stop her...and I think I know exactly how to do it.   Sheryl gives a bit of an evil grin.   ...   Jerome looks off, unsure if he likes what Sheryl has cooked up.   ---

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DAYS #119: Sami rushes to stop the wedding, Sonny stands up to EJ

EPISODE 119
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
EJ stands in Gabi, Sonny, and Will's apartment, holding a pistol he was about to hand Gabi. Sonny stands in the doorway to the bedroom, glaring angrily at EJ.   EJ: Sonny.   Gabi turns around to look at Sonny, who walks hastily over and takes the gun from EJ's hand.   SONNY: What the HELL do you think you're doing bringing a gun in this house, EJ?
EJ: Sonny, let me explain--
SONNY: NO! No, you LISTEN to me, EJ. I am not going to have Ariana living with a deadly weapon lying around, ready to be used whenever a wind picks up and a treebranch taps the window pane because we're all so terrified of what Nick Fallon's gonna do next.    EJ looks away, shaking his head as he allows Sonny to finish his rant.   SONNY: And before you tell me this is supposed to protect us, I think we can find a slightly better way than packing heat everywhere we go.
EJ: Sonny, Nick Fallon is threat.
SONNY: He may be, but he's too smart, and too cunning to attack us at this stage in the game with violence.   EJ looks at Sonny, an unsure look on his face.   EJ: Not...neccessarily. Not anymore.   Sonny looks back at EJ, confused.   ---  
Sami stands in the DiMera living room, shocked by the news she's just heard from Nick, who sits causally in the easychair facing her.   SAMI: He's WHAT??!
NICK: Getting married to Nicole. In...   Nick checks his watch for a second, before looking up at Sami, smiling widely.   NICK: About an hour?   Sami rushes forward, heading for the door of the living room to show Nick out.   SAMI: You're lying. I KNOW you're lying. You're just trying to get me going and...
NICK: I saw the appointment booking. They're probably headed the justice of the peace right now.   Nick gets up from his seat, turning toward Sami who has her hand on the knob of the door leading out of the living room. She stops before opening it, then turns back to face Nick.   SAMI: My brother wouldn't be so stupid as to marry Nicole Walker.
NICK: Do you really have the time to debate me about it? Look, you've done me a huge favour by offering Gabi that contract, and I'm willing to pay it forward. I'm not trying to get one over on you.    Sami laughs to her herself as she responds sarcastically.   SAMI: Oh...that's a first.   Nick looks at Sami, deadly serious as he steps toward her.   NICK: Sami. Do you really think you have the time to second guess me on this? If I were you, I'd be in my car already, trying to stop this farce of a wedding from happening. No?   Sami stops a moment, looking away from Nick before opening the door to the living room.   SAMI: I guess I'd better get ready to go.   Nick smiles smugly as he heads out.   NICK: You're welcome.   After heading out, Sami closes the door behind him. Frustrated, she contemplates her action plan.   Having a sudden epiphany, she heads over to the landline phone on the desk at the opposite end of the room, and makes a call.   ...  
At Marlena's penthouse, a relaxed Marlena gets up from having breakfast and digs through her purse to find her cell phone.   Putting it to her ear, she answers.   MARLENA: (into phone) Sami?   ...   Sami answers, a definite sense of urgency in her voice.   SAMI: (into phone) Mom, where are you?   ...   Marlena's expression shifts immediately, suddenly concerned by her daughter's tone.   MARLENA: (into phone) I'm at home. Sami? What's going on?   ...   SAMI: (into phone) I don't have time to explain, meet me at city hall right now. It's an emergency.   Sami hangs up the phone, almost slamming it onto the receiver, before taking a moment to think of her action plan.   SAMI: You're not gonna get away with this, Nicole. Not on my watch.   ...   Marlena stands in her living room, confused and worried, as she tries to get Sami to answer.   MARLENA: (into phone) Sami? Sami? Are you...?   Marlena looks at her phone, seeing that Sami ended the call. Worried, she immediately heads for her bedroom to get ready to go meet Sami.   ---  
Valerie sits on her sofa in her living room, attempting to set something up on her laptop. Visibly frustrated, she tenses up as though ready to hit the computer, before hearing Jerome come down the stairs, ready to head off for the day. Valerie turns, hopeful that Jerome can help.   VALERIE: Oh! Jerome! Good morning!   Jerome stops once he reaches the bottom of the staircase. Turning to face his grandma, she pulls him by the shirt toward him to greet him with a morning kiss on the cheek.   JEROME: Hey, Grandma.
VALERIE: Hey. You want some breakfast before you head out?   Jerome hesitates, not wanting to stick around, but trying not to be rude.   JEROME: Uhhhh actually, I was gonna meet some guys from the university at the Brady Pub.
VALERIE: Oh. That's a shame. I uh....I actually needed your help with something before you left. Do you...do you have a second for me?   Jerome shrugs, politely smiling at his grandmother.   JEROME: Yeah. Sure.
VALERIE: Good. Cos' this here is about to make your grandmother lose her mind.   Valerie walks Jerome over to her laptop, motioning to him.   JEROME: Okay, what's the problem?
VALERIE: I have to do an interview for a nurse I'm looking to hire for the hospital, and they want me to do it online using this....video chat business. And I do NOT know the first thing about setting this up.   Jerome laughs for a second with Valerie, before nodding.   JEROME: Yeah, that's cool. I can set you up in two seconds.
VALERIE: Jerome Grant, you are a lifesaver.   Jerome sits himself down on the couch and quickly sets everything up for the video chat, he looks up at Valerie, who stands over him, watching what he's doing. He asks her a question.   JEROME: Now I just need her name and account name so we can finish setting it all up.   Valerie points to a specific tab on the computer screen to guide Jerome.   VALERIE: Oh! It's um...this one here.   Jerome clicks on the tab that shows the woman's resumé. After plugging in her handle into the chat program, her profile appears on the screen, complete with her picture.   Her name is Crystal Clarke.   Jerome stops a moment, suddenly very focused on the woman's face. A very pretty woman with short, bright red hair in a pixie cut, soft chubby cheeks, and a bright smile.  After a moment he notices a striking resemblance to Sheryl. Certainly, the two women have some significant differences in their appearance. This woman's hair, in colour and length, differ significantly from Sheryl's. Additionally, this woman is somehwat chubbier than Sheryl, and their eye colours are somewhat different. But the resemblance is still uncanny to Jerome.   Thinking fast, Jerome looks back at his grandmother.   JEROME: I...uh...I think we're ready. So just...   Jerome gets up from his seat, and guides Valerie onto the couch in his stead. He points toward a specific spot on the screen.   JEROME: Just...click there when you wanna connect the call, and you're good.
VALERIE: Thank you, baby.   Valerie kisses Jerome lovingly on the cheek before he steps away from the couch. He stops to tell Valerie something.   JEROME: Anytime. Look, I...uh....I think I will stick around and grab some coffee at least.
VALERIE: It's all ready for you in the kitchen.   Jerome smiles at his grandma before continuing on to the kitchen.   JEROME: Thanks, Grandma.   Jerome heads for the kitchen, stopping just at the doorway as he continues to think over his plan.   JEROME: If I didn't believe in miracles before...this might be just what we needed to finish this job once and for all.   ---     ---  
Sheryl paces her hotel room in the sleazy hotel at the edge of town Jerome has set up for her. The darkness of the room irritates her, as she has on the bedside lamps and turns on the room's lights, but it's still not enough. She looks over at the room's phone, contemplating making a call to Jordan, but quickly realizes that would be at once foolish and in vain.   SHERYL: Are you stupid? Jordan's not gonna take your calls at this rate. You just gotta sit tight and wait for word.   Suddenly, the room's phone rings. Sheryl lurches forward, quickly pulling the receiver to her ear in desperation.   SHERYL: Hello?   ...   It's Jerome. He stands in his kitchen at home, stirring his cup of coffee as he cheerfully greets Sheryl, almost in a singsong voice.   JEROME: (into phone) I've got some good news for you.   ...   SHERYL: (into phone) I could use some right about now. What is it?   ...   JEROME: (into phone) I may have a way for us to pull this job off after all.   ...   Sheryl smiles widely, a sudden glimmer of hope finally coming through for her.   ---  
Alex walks over to Noelle, who is still lying in bed nursing her hangover. Noelle holds up her tablet which shows his mother's picture on the front page of the Salem Spectator, alongside the headline:   DEVERAUX KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: DISGRACED SENATOR'S EX-WIFE ENTERS GOVERNOR'S RACE   Alex sighs as he reads the headline. He responds sarcastically.   ALEX: Great. She finally did it.
NOELLE: Look, I know this is...a huge issue between you guys--   Alex snaps at Noelle, trying to stop her from carrying on with this topic.   ALEX: Look, I don't...I don't wanna get into this right now. You know how I feel about my mother and her...politics.   Noelle leans over in bed, as Alex sits down on the bed next to her. She puts a hand on his shoulder, hoping to comfort him.   NOELLE: I do. And I know that you want to keep your life out of the spotlight, and her running for office...severely hampers that. We can keep our distance from her. I mean...she's not in Salem, so we won't have to attend all kinds of party events and fundraisers.
ALEX: That's not the point. I'll still get asked for my input. What am I gonna say? No, I don't support anything my mother stands for. No, I don't want her to win the governor's seat! Why do you ask?   Noelle laughs momentarily, while rubbing her husband's shoulders, starting to lift herself out of bed.   NOELLE: Look, just...don't let it bug you too much. If it helps, I'll call Anjelica and we'll work something out. Okay?    Noelle leans in close to Alex's ear, and whispers sensually into it.   NOELLE: Now...why don't you...take a bit more time getting ready.   Noelle giggles, as she lets her hands wander from her husband's shoulders, leading down to his chest.   NOELLE: I guess I'm starting to feel a bit better.   Alex smiles, but takes Noelle's hands off him, and gets up.   ALEX: I wish I could but...I have too much to go over this morning, and Justin sent me a text saying there was something big that came up last night I have to deal with so...I gotta run. I'm sorry.   Noelle smiles, disappointed but understanding.   NOELLE: It's okay. I understand. 
ALEX: Look, I gotta get ready. You gonna stay in bed awhile.
NOELLE: Yeah.   Noelle sits in bed, as Alex leans in and kisses Noelle gently on the lips.   ALEX: I'll let you rest. I'll see you tonight. I might have a surprise waiting for you.
NOELLE: Ooo! I look forward to it. I love you.   Alex breaks away from Noelle and heads for the door, flashing a sexy smile at his wife.   ALEX: Love you too.   Once Alex closes the door, Noelle sighs. She gets up from her bed and grabs her cell phone, placing a call.   After a moment, someone answers, and Noelle is none too pleased.   NOELLE: (into phone) Just when the Hell were you gonna tell me you were running? We had a deal, Anjelica!   ---   Sonny reacts to EJ's comment in equal measures of frustration and confusion.   SONNY: Wh-what do you mean, not anymore? I...

As Sonny reacts, Will emerges from the bedroom, half-asleep and confused.   WILL: Guys, what's all the...EJ?   EJ looks over at Will, feeling guilty for having woken him up. He nods a greeting Will's way.   EJ: William.   Sonny turns toward Will, almost laughing at the situation he finds so absurd.   SONNY: Will! You know what all this noise is? EJ's decided that the best way to protect us from Nick is to bring a gun into our home. Because that's a responsible environment to raise Ariana in. Don't you think?   Will looks over at Sonny, Gabi, then EJ, and back to Sonny, responding a little sheepishly.   WILL: Well, uh...I mean...maybe it's because I'm still half-asleep but...he may have a point.   Sonny looks back at Will, mystified and outraged by his statement.   ---   Marlena walks out of the front door to her building. Spotting Sami's car out front, she approaches, surprised to see her daughter there.   MARLENA: Sami?
SAMI: Mom,  get in.
MARLENA: What are you talking about?
SAMI: Mom, Eric may be about to make the biggest mistake of his life. There's no time. Come on, I'll drive.   Marlena looks at Sami, more worried than ever, as she wordlessly gets into the passenger's side of Sami's car and closes the door.   Sami immediately speeds off once they're both inside.   ---  
Nicole and Eric sit in the car together, the both of them blissfully happy as they head for Salem City Hall to be married.   ERIC: You excited?   Nicole cocks an eyebrow at Eric, who chuckles to himself as Nicole responds.   NICOLE: What do you think? Seriously though, I am so grateful that we got a second chance, Eric. You don't even know how happy I am to be getting married to you today.
ERIC: You and me both. I know I don't...speak about this much but...you know...after what happened with Kristen and...Dr. Chyka getting away and...all that stuff with the church...I could've very easily fallen into a really dark place.   Nicole zones out, contemplating her own part in the Dr. Chyka affair. She flashes back to her meeting with Hope upon their return from Dr. Chyka's cabin, when Hope told Nicole that it was better they hadn't found anything in the cabin, as it would harm Eric's case rather than help.
She then recalls putting the files proving Kristen drugged Eric in her desk drawer.   Eric squeezes Nicole's hand, snapping her out of her thoughts.   ERIC: Nicole.   Nicole looks up, back at Eric. She smiles.   NICOLE: Sorry. My mind...wandered.
ERIC: Apparently!    Nicole and Eric laugh together as Eric turns into the parking lot at the city hall. Stopping the car, he puts the car in Park and pulls the keys from the ignition. He stops before getting out and looks over at Nicole.   ERIC: Well, I just want you to know...I thank you. I couldn't have made it through all of this without you.   Nicole begins to tear up, leaning in to kiss Eric. After they kiss gently on the lips, Eric unfastens his seatbelt and opens the door.   ERIC: Are you ready to become Mrs. Eric Brady?   Nicole laughs, unable to hide her glee.   NICOLE: I am SO ready.
ERIC: Well, let's go!   Nicole unbuckles her seatbelt and quickly leaves the car at the same time as Eric. They shut their respective doors almost completely in sync.   ---

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DAYS #118: EJ gives Gabi some extra protection, Nick tells Sami about the wedding

EPISODE 118
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Gabi walks around the main room of her shared apartment with Sonny and Will, holding Ariana in her arms as she feeds her her bottle. Ari stays peaceful and quiet as Gabi quietly sings to her, as a knock on the door is heard.   Surprised, as it's relatively early in the morning for visitors, Gabi walks cautiously toward the door.   GABI: Seriously? It's like...6:30 in the morning. Who the...  
Gabi opens the door to find EJ standing on the other side, looking back at her gravely.   GABI: EJ?
EJ: Gabi, I'm sorry, but this is an emergency.   Gabi looks back at EJ, confused and surprised by EJ's rather dramatic greeting.   ---  
Sami stands in the DiMera living room, trying in vain to get EJ to pick up his phone.   SAMI: Ugh! Straight to voicemail again? Come on, EJ!   Putting the phone down on the desk, she pinches the bridge of her nose momentarily, trying to figure out what emergency EJ could possibly have at 6:30am, when Harold emerges from the foyer, getting Sami's attention immediately.   SAMI: Harold?
HAROLD: Uh, a Mr. Fallon to see you, Mum.  
Sami's expression changes immediately to one of irritation as Nick steps into the room, a smile on his face.
---
Daniel stands behind his desk in his office at University Hospital, putting down his tablet, as someone knocks on his office door.   DANIEL: Come in!  
Billie bursts through the door, a bit out of breath and an excited look on her face.   BILLIE: Daniel! Come, quick!   Daniel walks toward Billie, a worried look in his eye.   DANIEL: Billie? What happened?   Billie starts to smile as she tells Daniel her news.   BILLIE: It's Theresa. I think she's starting to wake up.   ---  
In Theresa's hospital room, a woman in black pumps stands by the door. In her hand, a filled syringe.   She slowly steps toward Theresa, being careful not to make a sound as she approaches Theresa's hospital bed.   Theresa lays in her bed, still unconscious, as the woman standing over her leans over to grab her IV.   As the woman jabs the syringe into the IV line and injects the liquid into Theresa's IV, Theresa's head begins to move as her eyes begin to twitch. Theresa struggles to wake up as she sees the blurry shape of a woman standing over her.   The woman pulls the syringe out and quickly makes her way out of the room.    Theresa, squinting as she struggles to wake up, tries in vain to lift her arm up to reach out to the woman before her energy dissipates yet again and she descends slowly back into her coma.   ---     ---  
Noelle wakes up, groggy and sore. She opens one eye slowly, making a sour face. Checking the room around her, she spies Alex walking to the vanity by the bed in nothing but a towel, drying his hair with another towel. Noelle slowly flops over to face her husband.   NOELLE: Ughhh.
ALEX: Good morning to you too.   Noelle lies back in bed, closing her eyes again, hoping to dull her throbbing headache.   NOELLE: Ugh wake me up next month.   Alex rolls his eyes, somewhat amused by his wife's hangover.   ALEX: You know, I know you don't wanna hear this, but it serves you right.   Noelle stays lying back in bed with her eyes closed as she whines back at Alex.   NOELLE: Shut uuuup. What do you mean?
ALEX: Well, you know, if you hadn't snuck into Victor's room and had a go at him--
NOELLE: Aleeeex, come on. Let this go, please?   Alex turns around, exasperated.   ALEX: Well, come on, Noelle. He's family. Whether you like it or not.
NOELLE: Ugghh, don't remind me.   Noelle fumbles about, flailing to try to feel where her tablet is. Finding it on the bedside table, she haphazardly pulls it toward her and turns it on to read the news.   Alex, meanwhile, bends down to open his underwear drawer, pulling out his briefs for the day.   ALEX: I'm just saying.   Noelle doesn't look up, simply shakes her head gently as she tries to ignore her husband, hoping he either stops talking or changes the subject.   NOELLE: Fine. Whatever.   After a moment, Noelle's eyes widen, shocked by the headline.   NOELLE: Oh God.   Alex stops grabbing his clothing from the drawers of the vanity and straightens up, looking over at Noelle by staring into the mirror.   ALEX: What?
NOELLE: Not what....who.   Noelle turns her tablet to face Alex. Before him is a picture of his mother under the headline that reads:   DEVERAUX KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: DISGRACED SENATOR'S EX-WIFE ENTERS GOVERNOR'S RACE   Alex looks over, visibly displeased by the headline.   ---
 
Daniel steps excitedly into Theresa's room, immedately stepping to her side to check her vitals.   He inspects everything, but sees nothing unusual. He opens her eyelids to check for signs of consciousness, flashing a light into them, before stepping back.    He shakes his head, hanging back a moment in hopes that maybe he was wrong. Daniel waits a moment before stepping back in closer to her, and taking her hand in his, gently calling out to her.   DANIEL: Theresa? It's Dr. Jonas.    Daniel waits a moment, before continuing.   DANIEL: Theresa? Can you hear me? If you can, squeeze my hand.   Daniel waits for some kind of small sign from Theresa's again-comatose body, before letting go of her hand and heading out into the lobby, where Billie awaits.   Once Daniel emerges, Billie anxiously walks over to him and puts a shaking hand on his chest.   BILLIE: So? Is she coming to?   Daniel sighs and slowly shakes his head, as Billie's hands quake even more.    DANIEL: There's no indication she's coming around at all, Billie. I'm sorry, I--
BILLIE: Did you call our to her? Did you put your--your hand, did...did you hold her hand?   Daniel looks down as Billie holds her still-shaking hands up, before resting them against his body.   DANIEL: I'm sorry, Billie.   She presses herself against Daniel's body as he takes her in his arms to comfort her as she begins to cry.   BILLIE: No...she...I felt her hands, Daniel...
DANIEL: I know...I know...   Daniel strokes Billie's head with one hand and holds her close to him in the other, as she rests her head against his chest.   ---   Sami leans against the desk in the DiMera living room as Nick stands just inside the doorway. Harold steps out of the room and closes the door behind him, leaving Nick and Sami alone in the room. Sami barely blinks as she glowers at Nick and his sunny expression.   NICK: Well, good morning to you too, Sami!
SAMI: What do you want, Nick?
NICK: Oh, trust me. Nothing bad.   Nick all-too-casually steps toward the armchair, sitting himself down and making himself comfortable in it as Sami remains leaned against the desk, scowling back at him.   SAMI: Why does that somehow scare me even more?
NICK: A negative outlook. Seasonal depression. Irregularity. Could be a lot of things.    Nick looks over at Sami's mug on the desk beside her and points to it, cracking another joke.   NICK: Oo! Coffee could help, maybe you're the kind that need two cups in the morning.   Sami stands upright, folding her arms in as she maintains her distance from Nick.   SAMI: You know, you're awfully quick with a cheap crack for 7am, Nick. You might wanna cut back on the energy drinks, yourself.
NICK: Nah, I'm high enough on life right now. And besides, you could make my high even greater if you have that little...proposal we talked about?
SAMI: Oh, you mean Gabi's modelling contract? Yeah, I sent it to her yesterday, she'll give me her decision this afternoon.   Nick smirks as he clasps his hands together in almost comical self-satisfaction.   NICK: Good. Excellent work, Sami. I think you've earned yourself a little reward for your efforts.   Sami guffaws at Nick's offer, laughing at the absurdity of the situation.   SAMI: A reward? Nick, I hardly think you have very much that I would want.
NICK: Ohhhhh, I think you might want this. In fact, I guarantee it.   Sami squints, studying the situation and Nick's guarded body language, before speaking up.   SAMI: Okay, I'll bite. What's my great reward?
NICK: My continued silence about your questionable lifesaving skills...and some valuable information.
SAMI: Information? What kind?
NICK: Ohhh very valuable. You might wanna sit down for this.   Sami rolls her eyes as she resolutely refuses to move from her spot by the desk.   SAMI: I'll take my chances, what is it?   Nick's expression changes to one of deadly seriousness.   NICK: It's your brother, Eric. He's getting married today. To Nicole Walker.   Sami's eyes widen as the colour drains from her face.   ---   Gabi stands in the doorway of the apartment, stunned by EJ's early visit.   GABI: I...wh--come in, wh...what's going on?   Gabi steps out of the doorway to let EJ in, and she shuts the door behind him.   EJ: Samantha told me about the bidding war Nick's setting up to try to reel you in.
GABI: Oh...yeah...what about it?   EJ steps in closer, in disbelief about Gabi's nonchalance regarding the situation.   EJ: Gabi, you've readdicted Nick to the same prescription that drove him to murder, and kidnapping in the first place.
GABI: Well, yeah, but I can handle it. Nick's gonna slip up soon and we'll catch him and get him thrown in jail before it goes too far.   EJ becomes increasingly emphatic with Gabi, trying to get her to see the gravity of the situation, while simultaneously trying to hold his voice down so as not to be overheard by Will or Sonny.   EJ: No, you cannot handle it on your own, Gabi. I didn't tell you this but that dosage I gave you was far stronger than the first bottle I gave you. Nick is about one step away from a total meltdown right now and if he finds out you, Samantha, and Kate are trying to play him, he's going to take some drastic steps, and I don't think anyone will be safe if he does that.   Gabi curls in her lips, frustrated by EJ's clarity. After a moment of trying to rock Ariana so as to keep her calm in this tense situation, Gabi sighs and responds to EJ.   GABI: Okay, fine. What are we gonna do then?   EJ reaches into his jacket as he replies.   EJ: Well, I'll tell you the first thing you're going to do, and that's carry this with you everywhere you go.   EJ pulls a Glock pistol from his jacket, immediately causing Gabi to tense up.
EJ holds the gun out for Gabi to take, but a voice calls out before Gabi can reach out for it.   SONNY: What in the HELL is that gun doing in our home?!  
Gabi and EJ both turn around quickly to see a just-awoken Sonny standing in the doorway of his and Will's bedroom, looking stunned and infuriated.   ---

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