Ben holds ripped up divorce papers to Ciara on Days of Our Lives

Jill Johnson/JPI

John surprises Marlena at work with a 4th of July picnic. Marlena’s thrilled, but is sorry they had to miss Eli and Lani’s party. John mentions he’s eager to meet Paulina, leading Marlena to share that she’s dating Abe. When John breaks out the mocktails, Marlena recalls a time when Paulina visited Tamara at college, stole her ID and went out partying. John thinks it might be a good idea they didn’t go to the party after all. Marlena is sure those days were due to her being young and full of spunk. John muses that part of her hasn’t changed. Marlena feels tipsy, despite not drinking any alcohol. John chalks it up to the power of love. They kiss and then Marlena mentions she’s seeing Ben tomorrow. They note how sad their situation is. Before John leaves for fireworks with Brady and Rachel, they make some fireworks of their own by making out.

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Paulina faces Eli, Chanel, Lani and Abe about Horton Square demolition on Days

In the Square, Eli, Lani, Abe and Chanel demand to know what the hell Price Town is. Paulina stammers that it’s just a working title, but the foreman declares they’re turning the Square into a big box store. Paulina tries to deny it, but Chanel confirms she saw the blueprints for one big building. Paulina says she saw an amazing opportunity for the community and thought it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Eli looks at the permit, which is for the entire Square. Paulina confirms she’s demolishing all of it. Paulina defends her project that will create opportunities and money for all of Salem. Lani and Eli point out the Square is their twins’ legacy. Why would she do this? Lani tells her aunt they are giving back her money for the kids’ college. She wishes her aunt never came to town. She leaves with Eli.

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Paulina explains herself in Horton Square to Abe on Days of Our Lives

Abe orders the demolition to stop until he can straighten it out. The workers leave. After more words with Paulina, Abe steps away to call City Hall. Paulina turns to Chanel who can’t believe she’s doing this to her. She wonders if her mother ever believed in her. Paulina points out Chanel can get a job at the store, but Chanel doesn’t want a job, she wants her dream. She wanted to build something for herself, to make Paulina proud. She wonders what kind of mother does that to her kid. Chanel calls her a liar and a cheat who doesn’t care who she hurts to get what she wants. After Chanel leaves, Abe returns. He wonders what the hell she was thinking.

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Chanel confronts Paulina in the Square on Days of Our Lives

At Julie’s Place, Doug, Julie and Theo wonder what’s going on in the Square. Theo changes the subject by announcing he’s engaged. Doug and Julie sit open-mouthed as Theo explains his fiancée is Ciara. In fact, she’s asking Ben to sign divorce papers now. Julie asks if there’s been any progress on Ciara getting her memories back. Theo says none. And the doctors believe the more time that passes, the less likely they’ll come back. Julie and Doug ask if he’s thought about what happens if she does remember Ben.

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Eli and Lani return to Julie’s Place with the Horton Square plaque. Julie launches into a tirade. Doug reminds his wife Paulina is Lani’s aunt — she’s family. Lani isn’t bothered by Julie though. What Paulina did to their families makes her sick. Theo thinks their father will find a way to stop her. Julie grows teary as she looks at her grandparents’ plaque. Eli vows to put it back where it belongs. As Eli walks Doug and Julie out to their car, Theo tells his sister he and Ciara are getting married. Thrilled, Lani embraces him. He relays Doug and Julie’s concerns, but he has to believe everything will work out.

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Ben refuses to sign divorce papers on Days of Our Lives

In Ben’s apartment, Ciara tells Ben she is engaged to Theo. Ben refuses to believe her. He asks where the ring is. She pulls it out and puts it on. Ben stares at it as Ciara says she loves Theo and is going to marry him. Ben tells her she doesn’t love Theo the way she loves him. He’s safe and familiar, but what they have is intense and passionate. Ciara reminds him that passion almost got her killed. Ciara pulls out the papers and tells him to sign them. He rips them up. There’s no way he’ll let her end their marriage without putting up the absolute fight of his life. When Ciara calls him obsessed, Ben counters that he’s in love. He knows she’ll remember what they have. Ciara doesn’t care what he thinks they were. She finds it cruel that he’s making it difficult for her, so she’s taking him to court. Ben pulls out mementos from their life together, but they don’t mean anything to her. When she tries to leave, he locks the door. He can’t let her go.

Next on Days of Our Lives: Paulina opens up to Abe about her past, while Ben tries to get through to Ciara.

Dan Feuerriegel had big shoes to fill, but he’s seamlessly taken over the role as EJ DiMera. Take a look at other actors who’ve been in similar situations that landed them on our best recasts ever list in our photo gallery below. 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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