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^^I find it interesting what Jo leaves out of that story. When Steve tells Kayla about it, it's clear that Jo's decision to give up the boys came only after Steve tried to kill Duke. I think it comes up again when Jo tells Steve why she tried to find Billy and not him (she thought Duke might not be angry with Billy like he was with Steve). I'm not saying that she didn't want the boys to grow up in the abusive household, but the precipitating event wasn't her selflessness, it was Steve trying to save her by killing Duke.

I think Steve grew up believing that Jo choose Duke over him and his brother and, more than that, that being given to the orphanage was his punishment for what he had done. And I believe that part of Steve's inability to let "Billy" go and cut off ties with Jack, no matter what Jack did, is because he believed that the reason Billy was given away was because of what Steve did. He believed Billy was punished for his crime. So, all that love is tied up with a whole lot of guilt (which only gets worse when Steve decides to play God with Jack's life).

None of this was ever expressly discussed, but it's all there in the performances and it's what makes Steve's constant love and inability to cut Jack out of his life understandable, rather than enraging. It's why Kayla put her own feelings aside - because she understood Steve so well.
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Classic Days of Our Lives Discussion · DAYS: News, Spoilers & Discussion