When the void lifted,
Melanie saw several girls milling around in school uniform, books under their arms.
Afancy all girls school, she noted, seeing the imposing gray building with
four towers. Two girls came down the stairs, bags over their shoulders. Melanie
basked in the sight of a teenage Carly, her hair pulled back in a pony tail,
accompanied by...‘Jennifer!’ she
exclaimed, immediately recognising the blonde girl.
‘It’s their final
term.’ Isabella explained. ‘And Carly wasn’t planning on going home. She was
expected to marry Lawrence the following year and she wanted no part of her
father and Leopold’s arrangement.’ As she spoke, Carly and Jennifer fist bumped
and then exchanged a heartfelt hug.
‘But what about
Frankie? Did she tell him she was leaving?’
‘He made her promise
not to give in to their parents’ order before he left home. Through letters
they stayed in contact but it was several years before she saw Frankie or
The scene was
suddenly enveloped by a dense fog then cleared to show a different scene. Carly
was in a sparkling blue dress, accepting an amaryllis from a tall and
outrageously handsome man in a tux; smiling lovingly up at him.
Melanie stared very
hard at the man. He had grey eyes, glossy black hair... something oddly familiar about him...
‘No...’ she whispered
as her mind flashed back to her brother. Nicholas’ resemblance to his father was almost uncanny. ‘Lawrence Alamain!’
‘I don’t understand!
She wanted nothing to do with him, she
told Henri so! What’s she doing with him?’ Melanie demanded.
‘Lawrence was a man
of many talents; one of them being putting up a facade. You see, Carly thinks
she’s in love with a wonderful, dashing man called James. Lawrence was
determined to marry Katerina Von Leuschner, no matter what it took. So he used
his means to track her and presented himself to her as the dashing James. And
Katerina was a school girl full of romantic ideals, who knew very few men; she
fell deeply in love with him. Or rather the man she thought he was.’
‘Did he love her that
much that he would stoop so low?’ Melanie glared at Lawrence, hating him
already; wishing she could fly at him and scratch his face. This was the man
who ruined her mother’s life and gave her so much heartache; this was the man
who had taken her from her mother’s arms. He sounded polished and cultured like
Nicholas who closely resembled him, but her brother wasn’t his father, thank
God. And her poor mother, openly adoring him not realising she was knee deep in
‘In his own way,’
Isabella replied. ‘But he was actually more in love with what she was; the Von
Leuschner heiress- Lady Katerina. She was a prize handpicked by his father for
him; the perfect woman to join the royal house of Alamain. He wasn't about to
let her objections get in the way. He actually tracked her down at school to
present himself to her but she made Jennifer switch with her instead. So hence,
‘And she found out?’
‘She found out one
night,’ Isabella replied. ‘And she didn't take it very well.’ The dense fog
returned then cleared and Melanie found herself outside, watching Carly getting
into a cab with a small bag, her face tear stained. ‘Drive!’ she ordered and
the driver drove off, leaving clouds of dust behind.
‘But he tracked her
down a few days later,’ Isabella went on and their surroundings changed in a
flash and Melanie found herself in a trendy looking bistro. Carly looked pale, her
hair in a French braid and wearing a print sweater as she sat at a table,
angrily arguing with Lawrence.
‘Here comes Bo.’
Bo was coming down
the stairs; long hair tied back and dressed in tight jeans a stripped jersey.
‘Oh!’ Melanie gasped, trying to adjust seeing Bo as a young man,
unable to stop staring at him. Lawrence was very attractive yes... in a
polished, aristocratic way but Bo... Bo had the ‘bad boy’ look and the aura of
sheer masculinity; more rugged, more down to earth, more... everything. No woman would look at him
and not want him... or not feel safe with him.
She caught Isabella looking at her with an amused look on her face and
‘He’s very easy on
the eyes isn’t he?’
‘That’s your brother you’re talking about!’
Melanie scolded, feeling herself blushing even deeper to her annoyance. Isabella chuckled.
‘What was he doing
here, this is Alamania right?’
‘Yes. Bo was sailing
round the world with Hope and Shawn Douglas, this was the night they docked
here but Hope chose to stay on the boat with the baby. Now watch.’
Lawrence was now
pushing Carly around, his hand raised as though he was about to hit her. ‘Leave her alone, you monster!’ Melanie
cried as Carly struggled to wrestle free.
‘It’s no good
Melanie, you can’t interfere.’
As she spoke Bo came
up to them, concern and determination on his face. ‘Hey... hey... hitting
ladies is not okay, now let her go.’
‘Back off!’ Lawrence snarled at him, keeping a firm hold on Carly. ‘I said let her go!’ Bo was now
angry, ‘If you want to come after somebody, come after me... leave her alone!’ Lawrence furiously turned on Bo,
taking a swing at him which Bo deflected and returned it.
Scrambling away from the two men, Carly stood aside, staring in dismay as
Bo blocked Lawrence’s blows, punching him in return.
Lawrence suddenly turned round and made a dart at her, but Bo pulled him back
and Carly made her escape.
Bo punched Lawrence soundly on the jaw, which
threw him on the ground. Lawrence got up and the two men were engaged in a
thorough fist fight. Lawrence clearly had some martial art skills which however
were no match for Bo’s street fighting abilities and soon Lawrence got the
worst out of it.
‘Serves him right,’
Melanie snapped, turning to watch Bo dart up the stairs. ‘He’s going to look
‘Yes, but she was
already gone.’ Isabella replied.
A thought struck
Melanie as they were back in the dark void. ‘Mum didn't see Bo’s face, he
didn't see hers either.’
‘No, but neither of
them forgot that night. Carly wandered from place to place, staying with friends,
even with a former trusted servant, to get away from Lawrence. But he always
Melanie shook her
head. ‘He stalked her.’
‘Stalked her and
taunted her with messages that their wedding will take place, whether she liked
it or not.’ As she spoke, their surroundings cleared and they were standing on
a porch of a house. Carly was reading a card, her face white, a look of fear on
her face. Melanie read over her shoulder, ‘You’re
cordially invited to attend the marriage of Lawrence Alamain and Katerina Von
Leuschner...’ She read the note Carly had in her other hand, which was
trembling. ‘It’s going to happen
Katerina; nothing you do will stop it.’
Melanie felt sick, putting herself in her
mother’s shoes; the feeling of finally being safe shattered by that cold,
threatening message. ‘How many times did he do this?’
‘Several times, over
the past few months. Carly would be settled and then a courier would arrive
with that same message.’
‘My God...’ Melanie
longed to hug Carly, to give her words of comfort.
‘After she got the
last message while in the French country side, she ran again.’ The surroundings
faded; from early afternoon to night. Carly was walking down a road with a
small bag, a scarf covering her hair and wearing a long grey coat; nothing but
the full moon guiding her way. There was a look of despair and worry on her
face that wrung Melanie’s heart as she and Isabella followed her.
Then Carly stopped,
looking at something ahead. Melanie followed her gaze to see what her mother
was looking at; something was glowing in the distance. Carly hurried forward
and Melanie went after her.
stopped, breathing hard. Melanie now saw what it was, a lighted cross. She
followed Carly through the gates, up to the oak door where she pulled an old
fashioned bell pull. The door opened and a woman peered at her. A woman in a
‘A convent!’ Melanie
said as the woman immediately ushered Carly inside. ‘Of course, where else would she find sanctuary from Lawrence. He
couldn’t possibly find her here.’
‘He didn’t.’ Isabella
replied. ‘For the first time in ages, Carly felt safe from him. The sisters
treated her kindly; she helped in the kitchen and in the garden. She loved
their way of life.’
‘Did she...’ Melanie
‘Thought of joining
the sisters officially? Yes.’ Isabella paused, watching Melanie keenly as
though she wanted her to guess what happened instead.
‘But she didn’t...’ Melanie
said slowly, ‘because she found out... she was pregnant with Nick.’
‘So where did she go
‘To a woman she trusted. The biggest mistake she
made, on many counts.’ The scene changed to a
sun lit patio, where a woman was sitting on a lawn chair, her back to
Melanie and Isabella, reading a magazine. A young woman in a black and white
maid’s uniform came from the house, Carly at her heels.
‘Lady Katerina Von
Leuschner to see you, Madame.’
The woman got up and
Melanie got the shock of her life. ‘No... no, no!’
It was Vivian Alamain, several years younger
and elegant in her white suit, hurrying over to hug Carly. ‘Vivian? Are you kidding me?’
Isabella shook her
‘I’m so glad you’re
home, I was afraid you might be away... I had nowhere else to go, no one else
to turn to...’ Carly was sobbing as she clung to Vivian.
‘There, there dear...
sit down and calm yourself.’ Vivian soothed, stroking her hair and sitting her
down. ‘Now, where have you been all this while? Many people have been looking
for you, including Lawrence.’
Lawrence to me!’ Carly shouted. ‘I hate Lawrence!’
‘Now, that’s not
nice, or ladylike. What did he do that was so terrible?’
Carly sniffled as
tears ran down her cheeks. ‘Oh Vivian... he’s really trapped me now. I’m
Melanie saw Vivian do
a dramatic double take. ‘Oh dear.’ she took hold of Carly’s hand. ‘Does he
‘No, and I don’t want
him to. Please, Vivian... you cannot
tell him about this or that I’m staying with you. I need to lay low until I
decide what to do.’
‘Of course my dear,
of course. He won’t know if you don’t want me to tell him. And you can stay as
long as you like.’ she patted her arm.
The dense fog came
again and then cleared to show Carly in a hospital bed. She looked very pale
and her eyes very red as though she’d
been crying. Vivian and a doctor were with her, trying to console her. ‘What
happened? Where’s Nick?’ Melanie turned to Isabella. ‘Why is she crying?’
‘Vivian and Carly
became bitter enemies years later. Not just over Lawrence’s death either.’
Isabella wanted Melanie to work it out herself.
widened. ‘She... no... No... She didn’t!
Isabella, did Vivian tell Mum Nick was stillborn?
Is that what she told Mum? And the doctor was on the take, wasn't he?’
‘Yes, to both
questions. Vivian felt Carly didn't deserve to have Lawrence’s child to love
after spurning him. Spurning Lawrence meant spurning the house of Alamain so
Vivian decided to punish her.’
‘Christ... to trust
Vivian Alamain of all people!’ Melanie shook her head, feeling ill in the pit
of her stomach. It had happened twice!
First Nick and then herself, both babies
taken away from her! Melanie felt the shame returning, how she gave Carly such
a hard time when she told her the truth... she
told Carly she hated her...
‘Now Melanie, I’m
showing you all this for you to understand, not to feel guilty.’ Isabella said
Melanie gulped and
managed to nod, staring down at the young girl on the bed. ‘What happened
next?’ she whispered.
‘Carly moved to
Tahiti, where she began her medical studies. She settled there and one day...’
The scene changed to a
small doctor’s office. A young couple entered; the man limping, supported by
his blonde companion who wore a beach wrap over her floral bikini. Melanie felt
like laughing, it was a much younger Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis.
‘I can’t believe how
stubborn you are.’ Adrienne scolded.
‘Why, just because I
wouldn’t let that girl look at my foot?’ Justin retorted.
‘You didn't think she
was a kid when you were gawking at her.’ Adrienne fired back, the amused look
in her eyes belying her words.
‘I didn’tgawk at her.’
‘I still think you
should’ve let her help.’
‘Sure, I would choose
a topless beach bunny over a professional doctor.’
As he spoke, Carly
entered the room. She looked healthier, more colour on her cheeks and in the
height of her beauty; early twenties thereabouts and was wearing her white
doctor’s jacket over a print bikini; a stethoscope hanging from her neck.
Melanie didn't know whether to be amused or horrified.
‘Will it make any
difference if the beach bunny wore a
white jacket?’ she asked dryly.
Justin eyed her
warily. ‘You can get into big trouble borrowing that coat, missy.’
‘I’ll risk it.’
Turning to Adrienne she held out her hand, which the other young woman
immediately took. ‘Hi, I’m Carly Manning. Dr.
Carly Manning.’ No longer Katerina.
‘Hi.’ Adrienne smiled
Justin still looked
sceptical. ‘A little young, aren’t you?’
‘I just finished my
first year internship.’
‘You look like you
just finished your first year in high
Melanie thought crossly. Carly did
look young but it didn't excuse Justin’s rudeness.
Carly merely smiled while Adrienne firmly made
Justin lie on the table and Carly extracted something from his foot which made
him yell in pain, before bathing it with antiseptic.
‘Now what do you
say?’ Adrienne prompted.
‘Thanks, it’s the
first time I’ve been treated by a doctor wearing a bikini under her white
jacket.’ Justin said pertly, causing Adrienne to swat his arm.
Carly laughed, putting the bottle away.
‘We could probably
use someone like you back in Salem.’
Carly raised her
eyebrows. ‘Salem? That’s where you’re
‘It’s a nice little
town,’ Adrienne said proudly.
‘In the mid-west, quiet place,’ Justin added,
now friendlier towards the young doctor.
‘Not too big, not too
small either.’ Adrienne said. ‘And full of friendly people, you’ll love it
‘Sounds like a lovely
place,’ Carly said, her smile bright but her eyes thoughtful.
‘That’s how it
started,’ Melanie turned to Isabella as the black void returned. ‘She went to Salem and saw Bo again.’
‘Yes. But you have to
remember, Mel; what happened at the cafe was quick and sudden, they didn't get
the chance to exchange words.’
‘So... neither of
them recognised each other when they met.’
Isabella shook her
head. ‘But Carly found out Bo was her mysterious rescuer and vice versa.... much later.’
are we now ?’ Melanie asked as the fog lifted and she found herself on a kerb.
1990.’ Isabella replied. ‘Come on.’
followed her, staring round in wonder. Salem looked the same yet a lot
different. For one thing, the sign over a rather familiar building read Brady’s Fish Market.Fish Market?
sign of The Java or the Internet Cafes as they walked along. People milled
about, no one familiar; young people either listening to walkmans or carrying
boom boxes blaring music. They turned a corner and got to the docks, walking to
a crowd of people.
was talking to a handsome African- American man; her hair bouncing about her
neck and golden hoop earrings in her ears. Melanie saw a distinguished looking
man she recognised from photos in Maggie’s house, Dr. Tom Horton, who was
talking through a bullhorn in front of a crowd of people. ‘It looks like some
sort of protest’s going on.’
oil company was responsible for causing a spill, which affected several small
businesses, including the family’s fish market. Carly joined in the protest.
Wait and watch... you’re about to see something.’
was still a beautiful woman in the present day, here she looked more like a
fashion model than a doctor. Carly looked animated as she talked to the man
with her. Present day Carly was more restrained and since Bo’s abandonment,
more withdrawn and quiet. ‘Who’s the guy
she’s talking to?’ Melanie asked. ‘He’s cute.’
chuckled. ‘That’s Dr. Marcus Hunter. He and Steve- Kayla’s husband- grew up in
the same orphanage. He took Carly under his wing after getting to know her.’
Isabella smiled, a nostalgic look on her pretty face. ‘They delivered Brady.’
‘Oh...’ Melanie turned to look at Carly
and Marcus again. He looked dependable and he clearly liked Carly, obviously in
tune with her. It was rather like seeing herself and Brady.
was clapping her hands, shouting encouragement then a man walked up to her,
grabbing her arm.
Bo?’ Melanie said, amazed. This Bo looked like he belonged in a biker bar. Personally she wouldn’t want to run into him
in a dark alley! His long hair flowed down his back and he wore a full beard
and a scowl on his face as he snapped at Carly, demanding to know what’s going
the hell are you anyway?’
Dr. Carly Manning; a new intern in Salem University Hospital.’ Carly replied,
tossing her head rather disdainfully. ‘Who are you?’
her arms, Melanie watched the heated exchange; unable to stop staring at Bo’s
tight ripped jeans. Cute butt, she couldn’t
help thinking. She blushed red again at
the amused look on Isabella’s face.
it is!’ she said defensively.
is going on here?’ Hurrying towards them was Caroline Brady, several years
younger, with a man she’d seen countless of times in a photo hanging at the
Brady Pub, Shawn Brady.
Melanie stared as Bo stormed away after more angry words, mostly about the
noise. What her mother said about Bo’s temper in her diary was no exaggeration,
in his younger days he wasn’t so good at keeping it!
is that guy, anyway?’ Carly demanded crossly.
‘That guy is my son, excuse me.’ Caroline
went after him.
stunned, guilty look on her mother’s face told Melanie she was already told
about Bo’s recent tragedy, she had no idea he was the one they’d told her
about. ‘That was Bo...’ she said, before passing a hand across her face in
Carly was apologizing to Shawn who brushed it aside, Isabella turned Melanie.
‘Not exactly love at first sight.’
‘No,’ Melanie agreed. ‘But it looked like
he was madder at her than at the protesters, mad that she was there at all. He
couldn’t get away from her fast enough.’
nodded, pleased with Melanie’s observation. ‘He got angry by the mere sight of
a beautiful young woman, what does that tell you?’
about her fascinated him right there and then, and he didn't like it... because
he was mourning Hope.’
good. This meeting is less dramatic than their first one, but still dramatic.’
I kind of prefer the first one, he saved her from Lawrence. And I wish he was
able to catch up with her that night.’
what would’ve happened, Mel? His wife was waiting for him at the boat.’
least he wouldn’t have been so hostile
to her when they met again, just look at the way he yelled at her; he was
was in pain.’ Isabella defended her
okay...’ Melanie was anxious to see more. ‘Go on...’
walked along the docks, Melanie beside
her. As she spoke, their surroundings changed yet again.
took to Carly immediately. The Bradys, the Hortons... a lot of people,
including me. And she was reunited with Jennifer after several years.’
though she was watching a montage, Jennifer saw Carly talking and smiling with
Caroline, Shawn, a much younger Kayla who was holding baby Stephanie; Dr.
Horton walking down the hospital lobby with her, Jennifer hugging her
excitedly. Melanie also noticed a little boy holding Carly’s hand and chatting
that Shawn D?’ she asked, a tinge of jealousy darting through her at the
unconditional love on Carly’s face as Shawn D grinned up at her.
Douglas and Carly hit it off right away. Carly’s been lonely for so long and
Shawn D was missing Hope. They filled the void in each other’s lives,
especially after he fell into that oil shaft on Jencon’s property.’
scene evolved to a hospital room, Bo attempting to console a bandaged Shawn D
who was sobbing for his mother. But when Carly put her arms round him, the
child immediately clung to her, becoming
quiet as she soothed him with soft words. With self loathing and bitterness, Melanie
thought back how Carly tried to console her
after her shooting and got rebuffed. 'But it wasn't the same as having a
lover,’ she said, pushing the sad memory away.
And it didn't help that people began playing matchmaker.’ Isabella smiled then
sobered. ‘But Carly was battling with a problem.’
away from Lawrence, right?’
She would only be free of him after her 25th birthday, which was
when their betrothal was no longer binding. And Lawrence knew that, that’s why
he had her hunted down.’
said his oil company was the one destroying business here at the time.’ Melanie
said. ‘Didn't Mum know he was behind all that?’
at first, she didn't know Jencon Oil belonged to him; not until after Shawn D’s
accident and Steve’s supposed death.’
jumped on that piece of information. ‘Stephanie’s dad... Kayla’s ex?’
walked into a trap meant for Bo,’ as Isabella spoke, the scene changed to the
smoking debris of a boat which looked like it just exploded. Hands pressed to
her mouth, Melanie saw a blond man lying on the deck; bleeding and obviously
seriously injured. ‘Lawrence had his I.V tampered with at the hospital,’
Isabella went on soberly, ‘and for several years the family thought they’d lost
nodded, heartsick but was more
interested in her mother and Bo’s history.
because of that fight, he wanted to kill Bo?’ she whispered as the scene
just that, Mel,’ Isabella replied. ‘Bo was embarking on his personal vendetta on
Lawrence for Shawn D’s accident; vandalising
anything that had to do with Jencon. And he put pressure on Carly by kidnapping
Frankie and saying he would only give him back if she handed him Bo and the Von
‘No...’ Melanie gasped.
nodded, snapping her fingers. Melanie found herself in a room in time to see
the door open and three uniformed men bodily shoving a struggling and very
angry Frankie- now in his twenties- into it and slammed the door, locking it.
there anything that man didn't do to hurt Mum?’ she demanded, watching her
uncle pound on the door. ‘obviously Mum couldn’t hand Bo over to him even if
she could hand over the inheritance!’
wasn't above anything,’ Isabella said coldly. ‘Carly did give him her
inheritance; Frankie handed his too - to
free Jennifer. Jennifer went in over her head by posing as Katerina as a means
of helping the real Katerina, making the marriage invalid. Lawrence married her
in Alamania and forced her to consummate the marriage.’
my God... the bastard raped Jennifer!’
Melanie exclaimed, shocked; hoping Isabella wasn't going to show her that
horrible moment. She felt a huge stab of pity and compassion for her mother’s
afraid so. When she and everyone else involved was safely back in Salem, she
pressed charges against him of course. He was arrested.’
he must have known she wasn't Katerina!’
knew all right, but he also knew Frankie and Carly would pay him anything to
get him to divorce Jennifer.’
course they would do that,’ Melanie thought, feeling proud of their selflessness.
‘But, surely no one held it against Mum for keeping quiet?’
especially after they found out she was Frankie’s sister and it was all for him
she had to keep quiet about her past with Lawrence and why she and Frankie
assumed new identities.’
smile was wry. ‘It was a while before he could get past it, but deep down he
watched the new scene revealed to her; a
party was going on and she saw Bo dancing with Caroline to a rendition of When I Fall In Love; other couples dancing.
Carly stood alone, watching Bo and he was watching her, an impassive look on
his face. Then he murmured a few words to his mother who nodded, before walking up to Carly and took her arm. Melanie
smiled as the couple began to dance, Frankie dancing with Jennifer a few yards
away, John (or what he Roman back then?) going after Isabella. Melanie looked
at the ghost, who was looking at the young version of her husband, her face
wistful. Then briskly, Isabella turned to Melanie. ‘On to the next chapter now.’