Sunday, May 22, 2016

CARBO FAN FICTION-Déjà Vu CHAPTER 18



Chapter 18
‘Just when it looks like she’s about to remember something, her mind goes blank again.’ Bo told Marlena via Skype. ‘And she once had a dream of Larry beating her, another time a memory of him came to her like some sort of  premonition. I thought she might remember the night I gave her that Sno’ Ball, but she didn’t.’
‘How did she react to it?’ Marlena asked.
‘She kept staring at it and I assumed it might trigger something but it didn’t.’
‘Has she been having other dreams?’
‘Other than the one she told me about, I don’t know. But I was pretty sure she would at least remember the Sno’ Ball; she had a strange look on her face.’
‘Hmmm… she probably had a familiar feeling about it, not exactly a memory.’ Marlena said, going over everything Bo told her, including Clarice displaying her medical skills while tending to the woman she’d rescued. ‘To her, it’s just déjà vu; that feeling of experiencing something in the past even though it’s a first time. From what you told me, she suffered serious injuries to her head and the implanted memories her doctors carried out only made things worse. Her memories may only come to her mostly in dreams, but it’s going to take a long time before she really gets her memory back.’
‘You think she might have had other ones besides the one she told me about? Why wouldn’t she tell me about them?’
‘Because they’re probably too foggy for her to put a face on them just yet. If she saw you in her dreams, it’s definitely not something she would keep to herself.’
‘I guess not.’ Bo frowned. He faced John, who was beside Marlena. ‘What do you think?’
‘I have to agree with Doc here,’ John replied. ‘For years, I thought I was  Roman and you all know how it nearly drove me insane trying to remember my past and along the way, I encountered more lies than the truth. It’s definitely going to take a while before she remembers anything. But if you want my personal opinion, I think you and Frankie and maybe Caroline should sit her down and tell her the truth.’ 
‘Absolutely not.’ Bo objected.
Marlena agreed. ‘Of course not, not yet anyway. You will tell her eventually, but that’s when her dreams- if she’s been having them- become clearer. Just do your best with her, be patient and encourage her to confide in you if you sense something wrong. But also be prepared for the time she will start asking questions. Put together a photo album of any old photos you still got left or anything else from her past with you. Frankie’s still keeping in touch to check on her?’
‘Yes.’
‘That’s great because he’ll have to be there when the time comes. It could be anytime so you have to be prepared.’
‘Right.’ Bo turned his head as he heard a car door slam. ‘I’ll let you know of new developments.’
‘Fine, give our love to everyone.’
‘Take great care of her, Bo; I don’t have to tell you that, anyway.’ John added.
‘No you don’t.’ Bo smiled faintly, before signing off and closing the lid of his laptop. He could now hear the click of Clarice’s heels as she walked up to the house and went to the door to open the door for her. ‘Hi, beautiful.’ Taking her hand, he drew her inside. In the middle of their picnic, she’d received a call from Salem’s ISA director.
‘Hi, I’m so sorry I had to leave like that.’ Clarice pressed her lips against Bo’s, stroking his cheek before sinking on the couch, peering at the display of treats on the table. ‘Oh wine… cheese and strawberries!’ Picking up one, she kicked off her shoes and Bo lifted her legs to place them on his lap. ‘It wasn’t word from New York about going on a mission, was it?’ he asked as he began massaging her feet.
Clarice’s silence made him look up sharply. Her expression was solemn as she nodded her head. Bo stared at her in dismay. ‘But this wasn’t what we agreed on with your superiors.’
‘We both knew there was a chance I would get called in anyway. And I can’t ignore this, Bo; it’s my job after all.’
Bo abruptly got up from the couch, anger and anxiety consuming him. The main reason why it arranged for her to be on loan in the first place was to keep her under his eye and help her get her memory back. He’s gotten so used to having her around that the sudden news was a sharp reality check, she was an ISA agent risking her life on missions. She believed herself to be Clarice Parker but she was Carly Manning M.D; the woman he wasn’t able to protect from the Alamains. Barely a day after she arrived in Salem, she got shot in his own house, the moment she was out of his sight. His fear of something happening to her was justified that day, despite Roman’s reassurances. She was a trained agent true enough but she was under his protection. Suppose something happened to her again?
Clarice stared at him, very puzzled at her boyfriend’s attitude. It was understandable he would worry about her but she had a feeling it was more than that. Getting up, she walked up to him. ‘Hey… don’t be like this.’ She said, slipping her arms round his waist from behind. Bo turned to face her and she was shocked to see his face so raw with emotion. ‘Don’t go.’
What?
‘You heard me; I don’t want you to go. Talk to them, let them find some other agent… the ISA’s swarming with them anyway.’ Bo knew exactly how he was sounding but couldn’t help it, he couldn’t let her out his sight again. Anything could happen to her out there without him knowing. She could get captured, or shot… or run into Lawrence.
‘I’ve been doing this long before I ever met you. I can look after myself, you know.’ Clarice reminded him.
‘It doesn’t mean I can’t worry about the woman I love!’ Bo said harshly, wishing he could carry out John’s advice right there and then. ‘I worry about the people that I love and care about, that’s who I am, princess.’
‘I know that!’ Clarice exclaimed. ‘But I’ve been on several missions; I’m always careful and focused…’
‘It’s about you, not casting doubts on your capabilities; don’t you see?’
Clarice sighed, shaking her head in exasperation. ‘Bo, even if I wasn’t ISA, I still wouldn’t expect you to hold my hand every minute. I love you but you have to understand who I am too. I know you’re worried about me, but you can’t let fear keep me chained to you every second. After all, I’ve been on the field with you and Roman all this time. And I’m sure you never wrapped Hope in cotton wool either, even if you were always worried about her safety.’ Her words were mildly reproachful but it struck a nerve. Years ago, she accused him of treating her like a helpless damsel in distress and she was angry at the time. I'm not going to cower in the shadows while you play the detective; I *don’t* need a man to run things for her!  How can he make her understand the danger she was in without rousing her suspicions?
He took hold of her hands. ‘I’m sorry if I’m being overprotective and weird but after you got shot, right here, I felt responsible for you and I promised myself after you began working for us that I’ll never let anything happen to you. After we fell in love, it became more than that, I got scared of anything happening to you.’
Clarice was touched. ‘Oh… honey,’ she whispered, touching his face. ‘Nothing’s going to happen to me, nothing. I’ll be safe and back in your arms before you know it.’ She pulled his head down and he kissed her fiercely, arms locked round her protectively.
‘Come,’ she said, when the kiss ended. ‘Let’s enjoy the rest of our evening.’
‘Okay,’ he said quietly, hiding his inner distress, frantically wondering how on earth he could stop her from going and finding no answer.
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Victor looked up at the knock on his study door. ‘Come in.’
Hope entered, closing the door behind her. ‘We need to talk.’
‘Good… because I’ve been wanting to talk to you too.’
‘Hold it,’ Hope raised a hand before Victor could continue, ‘If it’s about Clarice, I don’t want to talk about her with you. I’ve heard enough about her already.’ Aside from what Bo told her, Justin had included some more info which reinforced her opinion that Bo would’ve found it too painful to talk about Carly. And much as she was still very sore about the present situation, she was going to keep her promise to Bo about not letting Victor influence her or let him know Clarice was ISA. So far, he still thought she was FBI and Hope wasn’t going to endanger her for anything. Victor was a career criminal and now that she knew his history with Clarice, he might throw her to the wrongs hands out of sheer spite. ‘I just wanted to let you know that Ciara and I will be moving out day after tomorrow. We’re moving in with Aunt Maggie.’ Very lonely since Mickey’s death, Maggie was more than eager to have Hope and Ciara live with her.
‘I still don’t understand why you let Bo have the house. You do realize he’ll be meeting that woman there?’
Bo was right, Hope thought, feeling a wave of anger and disgust towards Victor. The reason she let Bo have in the house in the divorce- in spite of his protests- was because of Ciara’s recurring nightmares of Dean attacking them in their own home and shooting Clarice right in front of her. ‘I told you, I don’t want to discuss Clarice with you.’
‘Believe it or not, I’m only trying to be supportive; like I’ve been since the night you moved in.’ Victor snapped. ‘I just don’t understand you, the way you paved the way for that whore, letting her steal your husband from right under your nose. If you had more sense, you would’ve taken my advice as well as everybody else’s instead of wrapping yourself with hurt pride.’
Victor’s sanctimonious airs and harsh words stung Hope so much that she couldn’t resist replying angrily, ‘Wasn’t it your own hurt pride that made you decide to do all you could to destroy Bo’s life and then setting him up to be killed? You were willing to deprive my son of his father! Bo told me everything and I mean everything, so how dare you lecture me about hurt pride!’
‘It was a moment of insanity; I didn’t know what I was doing at the time,’ was Victor’s angry mutter. ‘And it’s water under the bridge, Bo shouldn’t have told you about that.’
‘Right, just like he shouldn’t have told me how you ordered your animals to set fire on our boat,’ Hope went on relentlessly, ‘and then faking your death to frame an innocent woman!’
‘She deserved it!’ Victor snarled, losing his temper completely. ‘Bo treated her like garbage and I did all I could to make her forget him and move on but what did she do? She betrayed me and went back to him the moment he snapped his fingers! She should’ve just died in that damned elevator shaft that night! At least Bo wouldn’t have had to watch her abandon him and Shawn Douglas for Lawrence Alamain… the man she never really got over, no matter the lies she told him! She’s a snake in the green grass and obviously Lawrence realized that later!’
No woman deserves to be abused, Victor!’ Hope hurled back, shocked by Victor’s words.  ‘And I don’t want to discuss Bo or Clarice with you anymore! Wrap yourself in your hate, I don’t care. Ciara and I will be leaving day after tomorrow and right now, I can’t wait to get away from you.’
‘Go to the devil for all I care,’ Victor snarled at her. ‘You brought this whole mess on yourself so you might as well indulge in your self-pity elsewhere!’
Hope slammed the door after her, her hands shaking. There was sheer malevolence in Victor’s eyes when he spoke about Clarice; his words laced with more hatred than anger. The woman was his sworn enemy, no doubt about it. He might even tell Lawrence Alamain she was still alive. No, surely he wouldn’t dare go that far, she thought, he wouldn’t deliberately endanger Bo… even after what he did years ago. But still, Bo needs to watch his back. I have to talk to him about it. She glanced at her watch. 9:40 p.m. Bo was probably with her right now.  She sighed, feeling a stabbing ache in her chest again but it didn’t weaken her resolve to warn Bo about Victor. There was no point talking to Clarice about it; she had no memory of her marriage to Victor, besides the fact she wasn’t ready to face her just yet.
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Bo and Clarice made their way through the treats and half the bottle of wine, Clarice refusing another refill when he offered her some. She lay back against the cushions as he resumed massaging her feet. She sensed he was still upset about her assignment; all through their conversation on various topics he was subdued, hardly cracking a smile. She understood he was worried about her but she hated what that fear was doing to him. He’s been in law enforcement for a very long time and has liaised with the ISA from time to time; surely he knew what the agents had to face and risk during their missions. The fact she was his lover shouldn’t make her that different from the other agents to want to shield her every minute. ‘Hey,’ she said, leaning over to rub the back of his neck, making him look up. He smiled faintly, reading the concern on her face. ‘I’m sorry, princess. I guess I wasn’t able to hide how I feel about you going away.’
‘You have nothing to apologize for.’
‘It’s just so hard for me to relax, knowing you’re going out there and wondering if you’ll be safe.’
Clarice moved her legs off his lap and moved closer to him. ‘Well, why don’t I… relax you, right now.’ she whispered before lowering her mouth on his. Bo’s arms immediately went round her, kissing her back passionately.Clarice’s hand moved down to the front of his jeans, stroking him gently. Bo abruptly ended the kiss; his  eyes not leaving her face as he tugged his shirt off and stopped her from taking off her top herself by doing it for her; before lowering her on the couch. Clarice arched her back as his warm lips moved from her mouth to the side of her neck, down her breasts to her stomach; unzipped her jeans and tugged them down, off her legs and tossed them aside. Moving over her, he reclaimed her mouth, hungry fingers moving over her soft skin.
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After making love on the couch, they took it upstairs and make love again on the big double bed; the first time they’ve ever done it there. Their impending temporary separation further intensified their lovemaking until they lay against each other, spent and panting. Bo cradled her in his arms until she fell asleep. When he was sure she was sleeping soundly, he gently slipped out of bed, pulled on a robe and went downstairs. Finding his cell in his discarded jeans, he dialed Abe’s number. ‘Something wrong?’ Abe asked after the quick exchange of greetings.
‘Oh, there’s something wrong, really wrong.’
Abe listened in silence as Bo explained. ‘What the hell do we do?’ he demanded.
‘Other than telling Shaw and the Director in New York the whole truth about her, what can we do? How will we begin to even explain it to them, Bo? If we tell them anything, they’ll insist Clarice be told too and she’s definitely not ready for that.’
‘No, she’s not.’ Bo ran a hand over his tousled hair in frustration.
‘We just have to risk letting her go, Bo; I don’t see how we can prevent it.’ Abe said soberly. ‘Where is she going anyway?’
‘Russia.’
‘It’s not exactly a tourist spot; the odds she might run into Alamain are very slim. And if you’re still worried about her coming back safe, remember she’s trained and skilled. I understand your worry and I share it but we just have to risk it. Or…  I can call Shane to have one of the agency’s contacts out there to keep an eye on her, discreetly of course. She won’t have to know about it and will keep our minds at rest.’
Bo knew his mind wouldn’t be at rest, even with Abe’s suggestion. All the same, it would have to do. ‘Fine, arrange it with Shane and have him call me.’
‘Will do.’
‘Honey?’ Clarice said just as Bo hung up. He spun round to find her on the landing wearing one of his shirts; several sizes too big for her. She looked at him, her face flushed from sleep. ‘Who were you talking to?’
‘Abe. I didn’t want to wake you so I took it down here. Did I wake you?’ he asked, going to her.
Clarice smiled lazily, arms moving up to encircle his neck. ‘Not really,’ she replied as his arms went round her waist. ‘The bed just suddenly felt big and empty without you.’ Bo lowered his head to kiss her lingeringly and she clung to him. ‘Mmm… I love you.’ She nuzzled his neck.
‘I love you too, princess.’ Bo whispered fervently, hugging her close; hoping and praying she’ll come back to him in one piece, without any shadows following her. 

Monday, May 09, 2016

CARBO FAN FICTION-Déjà Vu CHAPTER 17



Hope stared down at her clasped hands and Bo couldn’t read anything on her face. For almost an hour she had listened to him as he told the whole story, not leaving out what Shane told him, Roman and Abe. For the first twenty minutes she’d stared hard at him then lowered her gaze, letting him talk with no interruptions; which he didn’t expect. Now she was deathly calm, her face expressionless as he ended his narrative. Bo waited for her to say something and when she didn’t, reached for her hand. She immediately recoiled as though he had a contractible disease. ‘Don’t you touch me.’ She hissed, her voice trembling.
‘You’re mad and I understand. I just never imagined I would ever see her again and in this situation. The initial plan was simply  help her get her memory back.’
Hope finally raised her eyes and he saw that her face now wore a look of scorn. ‘And I suppose sleeping with her was some form of therapy, huh?’
Bo bristled at the insulting words but kept his temper. ‘Before Lawrence Alamain took her away from me, Carly and I had a life; a wonderful life with Shawn D. She was there for both of us in many ways… I know it hurts you to hear that but it’s the truth. After Shane gave us his report and then she got shot saving your life and Ciara’s; more than ever I felt I owed it to her to help her get her memory back.’ He paused then continued, ‘the rest of it… it wasn’t planned. It just happened and we’re together now. You needed to hear it from me, which is why I asked you to meet me here today.’
‘How convenient for both of you. She doesn’t remember you and you found yourself falling in love with an ex fiancée who left you and our son… an ex fiancée you never told me about! Was losing her that painful that you just couldn’t tell me about her?’
‘I had moved on with my life!’ Bo snapped back defensively. ‘With everything we went through to stay together and the life we had, what was the point of bringing up Carly Manning at all? She had nothing to do with us.’
Hope was silent for a minute, her anger mounting. ‘Well, now I know who really replaced me while I was gone! I cannot believe you did this to me, Brady. I might buy that Clarice… Carly… whatever her name is, fell in love with you even in her present state but you… over two decades of us, you threw all that away in an instant.’
‘You were willing to, the night you moved out of our house, remember?’ Bo replied, his voice now cold. ‘And before you accuse me any further; remember this. I never expected to ever see Carly again. I never planned on falling in love with her all over again but it happened. She’s back in my life and she’s going to stay in my life, amnesia or not.’
‘And that’s because she’s everything I’m not, isn’t it?’ Hope asked adamantly.
‘Let’s not do this, Hope.’
‘No, you’ll answer me right now since we’re being honest here.  She’s everything I’m not, right… giving you all the warmth and harmony you didn’t get from me. Is that how she was when she was Carly Manning; agreeing with you every time?’
She knew from the expression on Bo’s face that he was struggling to control his temper and braced herself for a defensive tirade. Bo longed to tell her that while Carly was at times a tad too stubborn- just like her- at least she would never have taken their child away from him or make him feel he’d failed her in anyway, like she did. But he had a 25 year old history with Hope and she was still Shawn D and Ciara’s mother; hence didn’t want to hurt her by comparing her unfavourably with Carly. At the long run, he still hoped they would be able to remain amicable friends. ‘I’m not going to dignify your question with an answer.’ He said instead. ‘I’ve told you what I feel you got the right to know. You’re mad but be mad at me, not her and I don’t want you go confronting her about a past she doesn’t remember or feel that what happened between us is her fault; you know it’s not. And don’t let Victor poison your mind against her either because he’ll try.’
The part about Victor marrying Carly and then battling Bo over her later, had appalled and disgusted Hope. ‘You can’t expect me to believe Victor tried to kill you. He’s many things but you’re his son, his flesh and blood.’
‘Victor’s not above anything and he did try to kill me.’ Bo snapped. It was a very long time ago but not something he’ll ever forget, especially since it was Carly who walked into the trap instead. ‘He even had the boat torched, imagine if Shawn D had been in there when it happened. All because he couldn’t stand the idea Carly wanted to end that sham of a marriage and be with me.’
Hope felt sick at the level of Victor’s jealousy, still finding it appalling he would do such a thing to Bo. Father and son, fighting over the same woman- both men determined to win her. She swallowed, jealousy stabbing her in the gut. No wonder Bo never told her about Carly Manning; their history was something worthy of a movie! ‘I won’t discuss her with Victor.’ She said stiffly. ‘And I guess I have to appreciate you telling me everything. But don’t expect me to carry on as if I’m okay with the situation because I’m not. I’m angry, I’m hurt and I can’t pretend! I just can’t!’  She grabbed her purse and got up.
‘Hope wait…’ Bo rose as well.
‘I need to be by myself right now so just leave me alone.’ Hope hurled at him, tears tricking the corner of her eyes. ‘Just let me be, okay?’ she left The Java, slamming the glass door behind her. Bo sighed heavily. Well, it was done. Hope knew the whole story, now he and Carly can stop sneaking around. He felt sorry for Hope; he would be upset if he were in her shoes. Just as well she left, she needed time to cool off and look at the situation more calmly. Paying the check, he went back to the station. Clarice raised her eyes from the papers she was studying and smiled at him as he entered her office. ‘Hi. Where were you?’
‘I took Hope out for coffee and… I told her about us.’
Clarice rose from her desk, her expression sober. ‘How did she take it?’ she asked, walking to him.
 ‘As expected, not well.’
‘Oh no.’ She shook her head. 
‘Hey, hey,’ Bo said, holding her face between his palms. ‘We’ve talked about this many times, no guilt.’
‘I can’t help it, I really feel bad for her. What woman would be happy knowing the reason her marriage ended?’
‘Will you stop that already? You’re not the reason and I don’t want to ever hear you say that again.’
‘It’s just...’ Clarice paused then went on, ‘you two were married for a very long time.’
‘And she walked out on me and no matter how much I begged, all I got was rejection and then the divorce papers she had me served with. This is the same argument we had when you had doubts about us being together and what did I tell you?’
‘Pretty much what you’re telling me now.’ She replied quietly, fiddling with his tie.
‘So, no guilt because we’ve nothing to be guilty about. We love each other, that’s not wrong.’
‘No… no, it isn’t. But I still feel…’
‘Hope’s going to be okay. After thinking things through, she’ll begin to accept it. She just needs time.’
Clarice nodded. ‘I just hope you’re right.’
‘I am. Stop worrying about it.’ Stroking her hair, he held her close. Clinging to him, Clarice imagined what Hope must be feeling and how she would approach her from now on. And will Ciara remain friendly with her after Bo informed her she was now his girlfriend? Clarice didn’t want Bo having problems with his children because of her; she was yet to meet the son Bo kept talking about. From the way he spoke of him, they sounded very close and she hoped he wouldn’t resent her for being the new woman in his father’s life.
Little did she know that Bo had informed Shawn Douglas all about her via Skype. To Bo’s relief, while his son was not exactly happy about the divorce, his reaction about him dating Carly wasn’t of condemnation either.  ‘Not even me, she doesn’t remember me?’  Shawn D exclaimed incredulously, barely getting over Carly’s huge change in professional status and how she’d saved his mother and sister.
‘No, she doesn’t. She saw some old photos of you at Mum’s but she felt nothing familiar.  I don’t know how long it’s going to be before she gets her memory back. The few flashes I know of were of Larry beating her but she just thinks it’s a nightmare and an unexplainable premonition. I don’t know if she’s had others.’
‘Dad, this is terrible.’
‘An understatement.’ Bo replied grimly. ‘But I swore I’ll do all I can for her and I will, no matter how long it takes. Roman feels that gradually she’ll start remembering things herself but I’m going to go about digging up some stuff that might trigger something.’
Shawn Douglas had wished him luck on it and promised to come over to Salem on a visit as soon as he could.
 ‘By the way,’ Bo said, raising her head. ‘I’m taking Ciara out for the day on Saturday. Will you come with us?
‘Of course, I’d love to.’ Clarice’s eyes lit up at the thought of a whole day’s bonding with Ciara. Whether it was because she was Bo’s little girl or she rescued her from Dean; she felt a deep affinity towards her, a feeling she could only describe as maternal. It surprised Clarice she would feel that way, after being alone for so long but it was there, hence the great hope Ciara would still like her after Bo explained the situation.
Bo smiled, pleased to see the worried expression on her face earlier was gone. ‘You’ll see that Ciara won’t change her mind about you,’ he assured her, sensing what still lurked at the back of her mind. ‘She loves you.’
‘And I love her too, I really do.’ Clarice touched his face. ‘And I hope I get to know Shawn Douglas soon enough, I’m pretty sure I’ll like him too.’
Bo thought about how upset his son was over Clarice’s inability to remember him, he would cringe if he heard what she just said.
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Hope walked on and on, lost in her thoughts until she got to the docks and stared down at the water.
Severe Retrograde Amnesia. At first, Hope wanted to believe it was an elaborate trick on Clarice’s part. But after hearing from Bo what Shane told him about her, she had to accept Clarice’s condition was genuine. And from now on, she would have to watch Bo with her. The same woman who replaced me while I was gone but doesn’t remember... how’s that for bitter irony?  Hope Brady thought yet again, fresh anger and pain cruising through her.  I hate her.
She sighed in frustration, her mind in turmoil. How can she bring herself to hate the woman who saved her life and Ciara’s…  nearly at the cost of her own. It was no point pretending she was the reason they were divorced. Deep down, Hope knew she brought it all on herself but blaming Bo’s amnesiac girlfriend seemed a lot easier than blaming herself. The family didn’t say so, but she knew they also thought she was to blame for the divorce but will never say it to her face. Who could she talk to about it? After Clarice’s heroic act, no one had reason to speak ill against her. Hope Williams Brady felt so much alone.
‘Hope.’
She raised her head, smiling faintly at Justin who walked up to her. ‘What’s wrong? Did something happen?’
‘Bo, he… he called me today and he had quite the story to tell me.’
‘Clarice?’ Justin asked warily.
‘You mean Carly Manning, his ex fiancée. You know, a little heads up would’ve been nice.’
‘It wasn’t anyone’s place to tell you the truth; it had to come from Bo. We were just as shocked when she resurfaced right out of the blue like that.’
Hope turned away to stare back at the river. ‘Were you friends with her?’
‘Well… yeah.’ Justin said uncomfortably. ‘Adrienne and I met her on our honeymoon. We mentioned Salem to her and she was immediately interested. She was just starting her internship at the time…’
‘I’m not interested.’ Hope interrupted bitterly.
For a while Justin watched her, not knowing what to say.
‘All of a sudden he fell in love with her all over again and couldn’t wait to get rid of his bitchy, neurotic wife.’ Hope said at last, her voice trembling. ‘I would have a problem with any woman Bo dates but why does it have to be her of all women? It’s so humiliating.’ She felt Justin’s arms come round her shoulders and tried to shake them off. ‘No… don’t…’
‘Don’t be silly.’ Justin said gruffly, turning her round to hug her. ‘If there’s anyone who really needs a shoulder to cry on, it’s you. Just let it out.’
Hope’s shoulders shook as she sobbed and Justin held her tightly, soothing her with soft, consoling words.
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‘Clarice.’
Clarice tore her eyes away from the priceless pictures on the walls to find herself staring at Victor Kiriakis’ hard face. For the umpteenth time, she found it hard to see any resemblance between this career criminal and her lover. The few times they met, she always noticed the same thing; the rather sneering way he pronounced her name. At first it baffled her, today it annoyed her. She hoped Bo and Ciara wouldn’t be long; she didn’t want a lengthy conversation with Victor.
‘Mr. Kiriakis.’ She replied coolly, folding her arms.
‘What’s with the formality? After what you did for Hope and my granddaughter, I thought we were past that.’ Victor looked at his ex wife carefully, after all this time still trying to get used to the fact that she truly had no memory of her past life as Dr. Carly Manning. The woman who betrayed him and then left Bo later. She was the reason Bo and Hope were no longer married; if she hadn’t come back to Salem Bo would never have gone through with the divorce. In spite of her heroic act, he blamed her for that. And it infuriated him that even after so many years, despite her new identity; Bo was immediately affected enough to choose her over his wife. What did Carly ever do except keep more and more secrets from Bo and in the end left him and Shawn for Alamain and their bratty son. Now even Ciara was taken in by her.
‘Maybe I’d just rather be formal, Mr. Kiriakis.’
 ‘I hope you realize the damage you’ve done to an innocent woman.’
 ‘Excuse me?’
‘My daughter-in-law. How do you sleep at night knowing you destroyed her life?’ Hope had returned to the mansion with red eyes a few days ago and it didn’t take him long to guess Bo had come clean with her. She however refused to talk about it with him or about Clarice herself.
‘I am not going to bother dignifying that stupid question with an answer.’ Clarice replied, equally coldly. Her profiler training  told her what Kiriakis was doing. He knew the facts about Bo’s failed marriage, as well as everyone else. But his unexplainable dislike for her was giving him the need to demean her… a petty attempt to make her feel guilt for something she had no hand in.
Victor tried to stare her down but the green eyes stared back at him; hard and unflinching. There was a time Carly feared him and he had hoped that fear would be enough to bring her back to him. But Bo, not the least bit scared of him, had urged her to go ahead with the annulment. While she was recovering from the injuries she sustained from the elevator crash, he had used veiled threats to get her to change her mind. But there he overplayed his hand, because she had lashed out at him; her fear of him gone. He could still remember her harsh, angry words.
 ‘You don’t scare me anymore! You don’t control me like every other woman you’ve tried to possess! You’re nothing but a fraud Victor, that’s all you ever were and what you will always be. I tell you what…why don’t you just go to Greece and retire; stay there. That way, nobody in town will know the truth about you… that you are nothing but a miserable, cowardly excuse of a human being. Now get out of here or I’ll get up and have you taken away! Consider it a final favor Victor- call it *pity*, I don’t care! Just get out!’
Looking back, Victor believed his hatred for Carly had begun from that moment. He hid it very well for appearances’ sake but deep down, the hate was there; growing  when she constantly lied to Bo and then went on to break his heart later on. He didn’t believe for a moment their break up had been mutual; all he knew is that she hadn’t loved Bo enough to stay with him or enough for Bo to fight harder for her. She had played them both for fools. And now she was back, with no memory of her sins. Out of the two of them, Bo was the bigger fool, allowing her back into his life and ending his marriage. It was all her fault. ‘You’re a home wrecker and a whore.’ He said, his attempt at courtesy gone, anticipating her angry reaction. Maybe he could still wear her down and hit a nerve as they battled with words.
‘And you’re a controlling and manipulative career criminal who thinks words can break me.’ was her scornful reply. ‘You’re trying to get me mad; you’re hungry for my reaction to your insults.  I’ve profiled characters like you and I study behavior so don’t think you can say anything to shock me. Bo is an adult, so’s Hope. She made her choice that night, no one made it for her. She ignored all advice, including mine. So… I have nothing to be sorry for.’
‘You’ll be a lot sorrier when I’m done with you.’
Clarice’s eyes narrowed. ‘A threat?’ She asked slowly.
Victor inwardly cursed. He’d forgotten she was now in law enforcement and Bo and Roman will fall on him like an avalanche if Carly told them what he just said.
Before he could speak, Bo and Ciara came down the stairs hand in hand. ‘Hi, Clarice!’ the child exclaimed, running into her arms.
‘Hi, sweetie. All set?’ The little girl nodded eagerly.
‘Come on, girls.’ Bo said genially, smiling as Clarice took Ciara’s hand.  He turned to Victor. ‘Tell Hope I’ll have Ciara back by six.’
Victor nodded curtly, watching Clarice leave with his son and granddaughter. But the ominous look she gave him on her way out told him she wasn’t going to shrug off his words that easily. It was a stupid, impulsive mistake on his part but he couldn’t help it, she brought out the worst in him.
How to get her claws off Bo, was the nagging question.
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 She walks in beauty, like the night; of cloudless climes and starry skies… 
And all that’s best of dark and bright…

‘Princess, are you okay?’
Clarice forced herself back to the present, meeting Bo and Ciara’s gaze. ‘I’m fine. Why?’
‘You’re not eating.’ Ciara indicated the uneaten sandwich on Carly’s plate.
‘And you seem far away. What is it?’ asked Bo.
‘It’s nothing really.’ Clarice insisted, taking a bite out the roast beef sandwich, though she wasn’t hungry like she thought. Those verses keep popping into her head, has been for some time now. It was the poem she heard being recited in her dream. Typing the first line on Google, she’d discovered they were words from Lord Byron’s She Walks in Beauty; a love poem. She wasn’t a big fan of poetry but the words just wouldn’t fade away from her mind. Not sure what Bo would make of her strange dream, she didn’t share it with him; wanting to work it out on her own.
‘Are you sure?’ Ciara placed her hand on her lap, looking at her anxiously.
‘I’m sure.’ Clarice leaned over to kiss the child on the forehead, ruffling her hair. Bo looked at her carefully, wondering if she was experiencing another memory. Back in the day they often picnicked with Shawn D at this very park. Remember something princess, he said in his heart; still watching her. In the meantime he was glad she and his daughter were getting along. It was mostly due to Clarice rescuing her and then later saving her from Dean that made Ciara hero-worship her. Contrary to Clarice’s fears, Ciara’s warm regard of her was still strong and it gladdened his heart.
‘Look daddy, Mrs. Hopkins packed us  Sno’ Balls. Do you want one, Clarice?’
 Bo watched, his heart beating fast as Clarice took one from Ciara; wondering if she would experience a flash of memory about the rainy night in a cabin… how he’d lit a match on a Sno’ Ball after she told him it was her birthday. The same night they fell in love. It was for that purpose that he especially asked Victor’s housekeeper to pack some.
Clarice stared down at the flaky coconut covered snack. Bo watched in anticipation, willing her to remember that night.  But she shrugged then bit into it instead. He managed to hide his chagrin, exchanging a smile with her.
Clarice smiled back, pushing the nagging verses from her mind and concentrating on Bo and Ciara. It was a beautiful day; she was with two people she adored and in a lovely setting…
She stared round at her surroundings, the strange feeling of déjà vu coming over her again. Only this time it was more overwhelming. 


As if I’ve been here before, She thought. I’m almost certain of it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

PRELUDE TO CRIMINAL MINDS' SEASON FINALE:A QUICK LOOK AT SEASON 11


As we know, this Season was quite an eventful one and not quite what we expected. The season began with a several months' jump. Kate Callahan (Jennifer Love Hewitt) wasn’t shown (as she resigned from the BAU in the Season 10 finale) and J.J is home on maternity leave for a few episodes, having given birth to another beautiful baby boy, Michael (her real-life son, Phoenix). This is the only season to date where Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gulber) is missing for a few episodes and yay… we got to Morgan’s beautiful heartthrob again- Dr. Savannah Hayes (Rochelle Aytes). And there came a new member of the B.A.U; Dr. Tara Lewis

(Aisha Tyler), a forensic psychologist who wanted to catch 

criminals aside from studying them and bringing in her own

 insightful contribution to the team. And in Episode 19- 

Tribute; Paget Brewster reprised her role
as Emily Prentiss- now an Interpol agent.


 Rossi  meanwhile had a very awkward but much needed reunion with his second ex wife (Joy's mother), Hayden Montgomery- played by Sheryl Lee Ralph.

With just one more episode to go; let’s take a quick look at Season 11, or at least the most memorable episodes.
The first unsub  was a hit man called Giuseppe Montolo (Robert Neary)- a member of a network of hit men,  introduced in Episode 1- The Job.  In a strange twist, it turned out he was killing off his past clients because one of them was responsible for the nasty gash on his jaw (he was shot there) preventing him from talking or eating properly. After his arrest, he wrote a cryptic note to Morgan (Shemar Moore) “The Dirty Dozen”, whom the agent first thought was The Network’s nickname but then surmised it was their next set of victims. Montolo added the taunt, “You will…never stop us”. The beginning of another mystery since Season 8’s “The Replicator” story line. It gave me a very eerie feeling too; you can order just about anything on the Internet and apparently, including assassins too- which is simply very disturbing.
In Episode 7- Target Rich- Montolo was more cooperative, telling Morgan that there were quartro other members (four) of the network of hit men and the next victims weren’t the case of whom but what. But before he could tell Morgan more, he suddenly coughed blood and collapsed, later dying. It turned out he was poisoned by a guard but no arrest was made because the same guard was found in his car, shot execution style. 
Target Rich saw the return of J.J (A.J Cook) from her leave and the third
appearance of Rossi’s daughter Joy (Amber Stevens West), who brought the episode’s case to the team. I liked the rapport she and Joe Mantegna shared, especially the part where he consoled her after she confessed a past (and unreported) trauma to him. As Rossi missed out on Joy’s childhood, it was heart warming how fatherly and protective he was with her; plus the stunned, delighted look on his face when he discovered Joy chose to use “Joy Rossi” as her professional name. However, at the end of that episode, Morgan is the first to find out who “The Dirty Dozen” is and straight from the horse’s mouth… a very frightened Penelope Garcia!


 I’m sure most of us didn’t see that coming but it’s not the first time Garcia’s activities have gotten her into trouble. Who remembers Season 3, at the end of Episode 9- Lucky- when she was shot by a psychotic deputy? The following episode plus a flashback in Season 9, Episode 12- The Black Queen- we found out she became a technical analyst in the first place because she made a deal to work for the FBI rather than go to prison for hacking classified government databases. But while Garcia is talkative and half the time exasperating and nosy, we viewers don’t want her killed off! The Network apparently nicknamed her “The Dirty Dozen” because of her habit of using 12 botnets (some technical, computer term) when making her searches for The Network, following Hotch’s instructions. Apparently, her security filters weren’t solid enough and The Network knew who she was and everything about her; hence like the psycho in Season 3, they want to eliminate her because she’s a threat. And of course her best friend Morgan, vowed he and the rest of the team will not let anything happen to her. Eliminating Season 11’s other cases, here are the most memorable episodes.


The first, I would say was Episode 11- Entropy. Reid returned from his time away to help the team get rid of the hit men who were threatening Garcia’s life. The viewers watched as Reid was forced to play a nail biting cat and mouse game with
Cat (Audrey Plaza) whom Reid described as a “Black Widow Hit Woman”. Apparently, her thing was to kill the male clients who wanted their wives dead and of all the members of the network, she had the highest body count. Cat thought she was shrewd enough to match wits with Reid but she should’ve realised  it was pointless matching wits with the smartest agent in the team. Every time she threw a taunt at Reid, he gave it right back at her- even with the gun pointed at him from under the table. The BAU managed to stay ahead of her, though the stupid woman thought she was way ahead of them! I liked how most of the scenario took place in the restaurant and the prior events told via flashback. By the time the episode ended, we just have to marvel at the BAU team’s resourcefulness and quick thinking (Reid’s especially) and breath a collective sigh of relief that our Penelope is safe at last. But we couldn’t help but feel sad for Reid, the revelation that his schizophrenic mother’s condition has evolved to Alzheimer’s and his recurring fear he might inherit her disease eventually.
Viewers got a nasty surprise at the end of Episode 10- A Badge and a Gun; when Morgan was drugged, set upon by some thugs and taken away. In the following episode, Episode 11- Derek; we are treated to a very special guest appearance,
veteran actor Danny Glover- playing Derek’s father, Hank. At first I was puzzled on hearing who he was going to play in the show; Hank was killed in the line of duty when Derek was 10 years old, surely he wasn’t Glover’s age at the time!  Was it possible Hank didn’t die after all? I was wrong, but the way it was played out, Glover playing the ghost of Derek’s father (how he would have appeared if he lived) was absolutely brilliant. Till now, I still can’t decide if Hank Morgan was a hallucination on Derek’s part or his father’s ghost truly appeared to him in his sub consciousness. Either way, it was a brilliant and heart rending episode that left me in tears half the time. Since Season 3, we got to see Morgan’s vulnerable side now and then, as he dealt with his two main demons: witnessing the death of his father as a boy and the molestation he suffered from Carl Buford.
But in Derek, we got to see the innermost part of  Agent Morgan’s heart. How he still grieved over losing Hank that faithful day in November 7, 1965, his helplessness when he was molested,  using his pain to help others and the realisation of just how much Savannah Hayes really meant to him. 


Aside from Hank Morgan guiding his son through his ordeal, he helped Derek take a look at his life, why he was the man he was presently and what was in store for
him- which enabled Morgan fight his way out of his predicament, the iron will to live, in order to be there for Savannah, his mother and sisters.





The ending, where Morgan asked Savannah to marry him, simply  sealed  Derek being  the most memorable episode of Season 11. We thought we knew Derek Morgan, but this episode we got to really know him and understand him all the more. Shemar Moore and Danny Glover had a lovely father and son like rapport that was so wonderful to see, both actors were simply, simply amazing. And of course there was the added bonus of the appearance of two Desperate Housewives alumni;
Charles Mesure and Jonathan Cake.
















Episode 12- The Sandman, was a 6 months jump; it’s revealed from a framed photograph Morgan placed on his desk that he and Savannah tied the knot (not fair we the viewers were cheated like that) and eagerly anticipating the birth of their baby. And the writers decided to give us another shock at the end, when we saw a gun aimed at the couple and a gun shot is heard, Savannah screaming Derek’s name and we see this….


                                 No, No, No!!!




We find out in Episode 18- A Beautiful Disaster, that it was poor Savannah who was shot. This nail biting episode was full of drama and anxiety- will Savannah and the baby survive and who was the cold blooded coward who would shoot a pregnant woman? From what we heard at the time, apparently a member of the BAU was going to leave the show and it was obvious finally that it was going to be Morgan. But how was it going to be, will he have a face off with the unsub who shot his wife and he would be killed? That was probably the general fear that day- I can certainly say it was mine! 
Morgan was understandably outraged when Hotch told him he was off the case, considering Hotch’s ordeal in Season 5 when he was too late to save his Hailey from George Foyet. All the same, Morgan didn’t back down- he went out to face the unsub after receiving the cryptic note J.J found in the phone slot. 


The unsub manipulated the scenario in order for them to know who he was, Montolo’s vengeful father, Chazz (Lance Henriksen). Why was he after Morgan? Because he thought that Morgan killed his son, Giuseppe. I was like… are you kidding? That was the reason why Morgan was kidnapped and tortured and then Savannah shot??? All this time, I thought it was something much bigger and then we are treated to this revelation! Oh well, whatever.
Morgan and Giuseppe face off, as expected. The icy-cold old man smugly thought he had the upper hand and tried to force Morgan to confess before killing him, even giving him the opportunity to say goodbye to the team. But it all an elaborate bluff on the stupid man’s part, thanks to Morgan’s quick thinking about the non existent land line that saved his ass and overpowering Chazz. Then the quick rush to the hospital, on time to witness the birth of his son and the happy celebration
afterwards. But then, he draws Hotch aside to talk privately… and with heavy hearts we know what it is about. The team take it well but still... 
The most affected of the team were of course Reid and Garcia. Poor Reid, abandoned by his father as a child and losing Gideon for good in Season 10. We see the touching goodbye as Derek presented him with the baby’s birth announcement and we are moved to tears at the baby’s name... 



All through Season 1 to 10, we’ve seen Morgan tease Reid and get exasperated by him occasionally, but there’s always been a deep bond between the tough guy and the intellectual- we see that glaringly as they hugged each other goodbye.


 Garcia, she  took it braver than I thought  but we see the tears on her cheeks as Morgan assured her she will always be his ‘original baby girl.’ Aww… poor Penelope, now she would have to find someone else to banter with!

Episode 21, Devil’s Backbone, we are treated to yet another special guest, Frances Fisher, playing incarcerated serial killer Antonia Slade. I’ve always seen her as a great actress but here she surpassed herself. While she was a child killer and not a cannibal, Antonia reminded me of Hannibal  Lecter, the only other thing that made her different from him was that she lacked politeness. She treated the warden the same way Lecter treated Chilton, she was generally cryptic and disdainful and had an  unnerving way of knowing something about the team before hand and demanding to know more about them. She was especially intrigued by J.J and Tara (Clarice Starling style) , called Rossi a bigger fool than his late colleague Gideon, was scornful of Hotch and Reid, even deducing Reid was unhappy about the loss of a friend. By the way, not trying to sound insensitive towards Reid (who we know has abandonment issues), but for God sake grow up… Morgan’s not dead!
The BAU needed Antonia’s help to catch an unsub who had abducted 2 boys and sent their bloodied clothes to her. She replied in cryptic messages for them to solve in return for a transfer (which of course was not granted) and the unsub killed himself after she whispered something in his ear. (Lecter-like again, in Silence of the Lambs, Lecter manipulated an inmate Miggs to swallow his own tongue because he flicked something disgusting at Clarice).
Back in her cell, after Hotch accused her of setting the  last few days’ events in motion, she dared him to prove he was brilliant than he appeared. She lost her scornful look when he did so- revealing her deepest, darkest secret (she got pregnant at 14 and her stern father murdered her boyfriend). But when he asked what happened to the child, she refused to tell him. Instead, she turned to him and said in an ominous tone: “There’s a storm coming, Agent Hotchner, and you are about to be swept away.” And we see this again...


 Judging from what Antonia told Hotch, there is big trouble  coming his way. And she told J.J earlier, that she would make a better team leader than Hotch; making things sound very ominous indeed. Whatever Hotch is going to face, will he come out of it alive?

We will find out in Episode 22- The Storm-  the season’s final episode.