Charlie and Claire smile, hold hands on Days of Our Lives

Jill Johnson/JPI

Nicole is disappointed to receive a phone call from Eric saying he can’t come home. And yet again, Rafe happens to be there when she’s feeling blue. Nicole wonders why Rafe hasn’t done more to find the missing Ava, suspicious that his personal feelings were at play. The cop, however, counters that he doesn’t let his personal feelings interfere with his job, but there is simply no trace of her missing friend. Switching topics, Nicole admits that she misses Eric, but can’t make him feel guilty because she pushed him to go to Africa. “It feels like all of our married life has been apart,” she shares before pulling back, saying she shouldn’t feel sorry for herself given what so many others don’t have.

More: Jennifer’s mother is coming home to Salem

Nicole explains herself to Rafe at home on Days of Our Lives

Allie overhears Tripp on the phone in the park and, having not heard who he was talking to, accuses him of trying to pin her rape on someone else. And technically, he was, having been checking to see if his dad and John had had any success in their efforts to get prime suspect Angelo to confess. Tripp shares with Allie the theory that someone related to him actually committed the crime, but she ain’t buying it. “You guys need a new story, because no one, not one person, is going to believe this bull,” insists Allie. “It doesn’t even pass the laugh test!”

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Tripp tells Claire about Steve's investigation on Days of Our Lives

Meanwhile, John tells Steve that he’s pretty sure the “Charlie” Angelo mentioned is right under their collective noses in Salem. John’s proof that Claire’s Charlie might be the one they are looking for? That the kid is a klutz who wears glasses. Steve is skeptical, but as John continues listing what they knew about Charlie he becomes more convinced.

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High on the drugs Charlie has been slipping her, Ava hallucinates a scenario in which Tripp comes to her rescue and she fills him in on Charlie, who then stabs and kills his half brother. As the dream plays out, Steve rescues Ava from Charlie by knocking him out, then her for everything that has happened. “You’re a lunatic, and you gave birth to a lunatic!” Tripp’s dad shouts. Once he exits, Charlie wakes up and prepares to kill Ava.

Ava's tied up, Tripp's passed out, and Steve tries to subdue Charlie on Days of Our Lives

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With Belle and Shawn still on their honeymoon, Claire tells Charlie they have the apartment all to themselves. When talk turns to sex, Charlie gets nervous, admitting he wants more than anything to retreat to her bedroom, but that she makes him nervous. Claire opens up to Charlie, saying with other guys she always felt as if she was someone they settled on because they couldn’t have Ciara. “I was jealous of her, because she was just so easy to love,” reflects Claire, adding that when she saw Ciara and Ben together, she knew they were soulmates. Charlie speculated that perhaps he and Claire were both finding their soulmates for the first time.

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John tries to call Claire, but she’s so into Charlie that she ignores her grandfather and turns off her phone. She admits that she’s scared, because every time she’s let herself be into a guy in the past, that’s when things have started to go “really, really wrong.” Charlie continues to say all the right things, saying her time in the mental facility isn’t a big deal. “We all have dark impulses,” he says. “Even me.” He quickly changes the topic, however, wanting to avoid talking about the past. She pushes, however, vowing not to judge him for anything he might have done in the past. He says none of that matters, because, for the first time in his life, he feels as if everything is going to work out. “Now,” he says, “I think we’ve done enough talking. Are you ready to go to your room?”

Marlena counsels Ben on Days of Our Lives

Ben unexpectedly shows up at Marlena’s office, saying that while they didn’t have an appointment, he had nowhere else to turn. “I still see Ciara,” admits Ben, adding that he has regular conversations with her. “The only time I’m really happy is when I’m asleep,” he shares. “Because then I get to be with her.” But he wakes up feeling empty and just goes through the motions of living. She suggests a grief support group, but Ben says that isn’t right for him, as he couldn’t talk to strangers. He could talk to Jake, but the guy “isn’t big on talking about feelings.” Finally, Marlena suggests perhaps Ben could talk to Claire. “Maybe you could help each other” when it comes to mourning Ciara. Their talk is interrupted by John, who calls to tell Marlena his theory about Charlie. Worried, Marlena tries reaching Claire, but with no success.

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John calls Rafe, asking him to go check out Charlie. Returning home, Allie fills Nicole in on her conversation with Rafe, who at that moment arrives at Charlie’s apartment and, breaking down the door, finds a bound-and-gagged Ava unconscious on the floor. As Charlie and Claire head into the bedroom to make love, Ben and Marlena leave to make sure nothing has happened to Claire…

Next on Days of Our Lives: Kayla gets shocking news.

Look through our photo gallery of men Nicole could move on with should Eric never return. Then, get your free daily soap-opera fix for Days of Our Lives — and all of the other daytime dramas — delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for Soaps.com’s newsletter.

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