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Thursday, September 06, 2012

CARBO FAN FICTION- Return Journey: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 

From the moment she made that ultimate decision, Carly found herself more motivated to move on with her life. Because he travelled a lot after leaving boarding school, Nicholas never knew about his father’s abuse so it had come as a shock to him when he’d returned for the funeral and saw the bruises and cuts on her face and listened to the servants’ testimony at the private hearing. He’d cried in her arms, begging for forgiveness and warmly embraced his sister on accompanying Carly to the convent. 

So besides her work she had her children, including another on the way- a part of Bo Hope could never take from her. And she still had Frankie who was furious about the whole situation but she’d forbidden him to come to Salem for a general confrontation. 
‘Now he’s knocked you up and you still don't want me to over there and tell Bo what I think of him?’ he raged over the phone. ‘Why are you bent on protecting him?’ 
‘He’s your brother.’ 
‘Not by blood and you can’t expect me to still regard him and his lot as my family after what’s happened!’ 
‘Frankie, my life’s complicated enough as it is; I don't want to add more recriminations on my head by putting you in the middle of all this, not because I’m trying to protect anyone.’ 
‘Carly, you’re my sister- you and I are the only children of our parents. What affects you affects me. After everything you did for them... it’s a huge insult and for what; because of that holier than thou Hope! They forgot you’re my sister, they chose to forget just to support Hope!’ 
Carly sighed. ‘Maybe you’re right... but there’s nothing you can do about it. So long as I still have you and the kids I believe I’ll be able to live through all this. I already feel myself growing stronger, better than I felt before.’ 
‘You’ll always have me Carly; count on that. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there.’ Frankie vowed softly. 
Carly wiped her eyes with her free hand. ‘Thank you.’ 
‘So... when am I finally going to meet my beautiful niece?’ 
‘I promised Darcy we’ll come over to Washington to spend Thanksgiving with you. I told her to go ahead but the poor thing won’t go anywhere without me so it will have to be that time.’ 
‘I can’t wait to meet her and get to hug you again! You take care of yourself, okay?’ 
‘Okay.’ she looked up as she heard someone knocking on the door. ‘Come in. You take care too, sweetie.’ 
‘I love you, Carly; remember that.’ 
‘I will and I love you too.’ The words faded off as she looked up again to meet Bo’s quizzical eyes. She put her cell down. ‘What are you doing here?’ 
Bo closed the door behind him. ‘Who were you talking to?’ he asked. 
Carly folded her arms. ‘That’s not important. What do you want, Bo? And make it quick; I don't have time for idle chitchat.’ 
Bo found himself staring at her pale face; hard and cold and the guilt in him multiplied. He didn't want to come at all but what he had to say was important. ‘ I came to see how you were.’
‘I’m good at hiding pain, remember? Is that all you came for? Because the last time you came to check up on me, I told you to leave me alone.’ 
‘Alright.’ Bo swallowed. ‘The real reason. I realise I’ve lost your friendship and trust for good and there’s no way I can ever earn them back. But I’m not prepared to lose Darcy too. She’s my daughter and she means a lot to me; if things had turned out different years ago, we would’ve raised her together.’ 
‘Until Hope returned to Salem, you mean. You expect me to believe I wouldn't be in this present situation?’ 
‘We’re not talking about then, we’re talking about now, princess.’ Too late, Bo realised his mistake. 
‘Don't ever call me that again, ever.’ Carly said coldly, green eyes glinting. 
‘Alright, alright... I’m sorry!’ Bo placated, hastily. ‘Please... I’m not talking about us, I’m talking about Darcy. I miss her, Ciara and Mum miss her too but she won’t take any calls. No matter how mad you are with me, I know you’ll never deliberately turn her against me or the family.’ 
‘What do you expect me to do about it, talk to her? Darcy’s an adult- I can’t make her be around people she doesn't want to be with. And I don't want her having any run-ins with Hope.’ 
‘Hope won’t be an issue. In fact, she’s hoping Darcy will come and spend some time with Ciara.’ 
‘Hope treated her with contempt when we first got here and barely managed to tolerate her when she heard the whole story... obviously I was such a closed topic that you never told her about me long ago.’ 
‘I had my reasons.’ Bo said quietly. ‘And again, this isn't about us, it’s about our daughter. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me and forgive Mum, Kayla and the rest of the family and I know it’s a very huge thing to ask- perhaps Darcy will want to be a part of the family again. Please; I’m asking you this... for old time’s sake.’ 
Carly stared back at him. By asking her to forgive, he was asking her to forget the callous way she’d been treated during and after their relationship, correction... affair. Wasn't it enough that he and Hope had renewed their vows for all to see and she was forced to live with it? 
‘I’ve told you before; Darcy’s past the age for me to tell her what to do. You can’t expect me to forgive that easy, Bo because you all treated me so bad that it stings. But I won’t turn her against anybody or encourage her to keep holding a grudge and that’s only because I don't want Darcy to turn into a different sort of person. That’s all I can do, the rest is entirely up to her.’
A nurse suddenly appeared. ‘I’m sorry to interrupt Dr. Manning, but Dr. Carver wants to see you right away.’ 
‘I’m on my way.’ Carly got up. 
Realising there was nothing else to be said, Bo got up from his seat. ‘Thank you, Carly.’ 
She nodded curtly, waiting for him to pass. But Bo’s eyes stayed on her face, lingering on her eyes- his favourite feature of hers. ‘So you know... I’m really sorry, I really wish things had turned out different.’ 
‘Well, that’s neither here nor there now. We don't always get what we want. But in your case; you got what you really wanted and I got swept aside like a chump. Excuse me.’ 
Bo watched her walk away in silence; regret, pity and to his surprise... confusion running through him. It had taken a lot of courage to come to see her and he was reminded again why he’d been avoiding her. The overwhelming guilt and the sight of her beautiful face which was now firmly stamped in his mind, refusing to fade.
‘Christ!’ he muttered, running a hand through his hair before going to the elevator. 
‘Hi Darcy.’ 
Darcy turned. ‘Oh, hello Melanie.’ She said, as Melanie walked up to her. Melanie Layton had firmly attached herself to her after her cousin Brady Black had introduced them and she found herself becoming friends with her; growing closer after the death of her best friend Arianna Hernandez and her divorce from Phillip Kiriakis- who she’d disliked on sight. 
‘I haven’t seen you around in a while, are you okay?’ 
Darcy shrugged. ‘I am... considering.’ 
‘Ah, yeah... I can imagine how you must be feeling after what happened with Carly and Bo. I’m so sorry she got hurt that way. I know how it feels to be betrayed.’ 
‘Yeah well, I never thought that young uncle of mine was right for you anyway. At least now you have that sweet Nathan... Maman is powering through on her own.’ 
‘Not exactly, she’s got you and I know you well enough now that you’re doing all you can for her.’ Melanie rubbed the older young woman’s arm consolingly. ‘So you know, I didn't go to Bo and Hope’s re-wedding. Not just out of solidarity, I felt it was too cruel... adding salt to your mum’s wound like that.’ 
Darcy sighed. 
‘Your Mum’s such a wonderful person... why would Bo...?’ 
‘I don't know Melanie, I don't know!’ Darcy replied, rather snappishly. ‘I honestly don't know how the minds of men work! He regards Maman as a mistake and I regard him as a liar... case closed. I don't want to talk about him.’ 
‘Okay, okay.’ Melanie soothed. ‘I’m sorry I upset you.’ 
‘Non, I’m the one who should be apologising my friend- I shouldn’t have raised my voice like that. I’m just so very angry... not just with him.’ Darcy pushed back a few strands from her forehead. ‘But I’ll be alright and Maman as well... in time. Speaking of which, is she in her office?’ 
‘No, she’s with a patient right now. Listen... how about we pick a day to hang out, let’s say a trip to the mall and then movies. I’ve missed our outings.’ 
‘I’ve missed them too. Okay, when you’re off duty next time; call me. We will spend the day together... that is, if your Nathan doesn't mind.’ 
‘I’m sure he can do without me for one day.’ Melanie grinned and Darcy found herself smiling back at her friend. 
‘You’re really happy with Nathan, yes?’ 
‘Deliriously happy, Darcy! You have no idea... after all the missed signals and misunderstandings we found our way back to each other. For the first time in my life, things are really going as they should be.’ 
Darcy hugged her. ‘I’m happy for you.’ 
‘Thank you.’ Melanie stroked her hair. ‘Maybe you might find somebody too to make you happy.’ 
Darcy scoffed. ‘Of course I will!’ she said with heavy scorn. 
‘Why not? You’re very beautiful and smart and talented.’ 
‘So is my mother and it didn't get her anywhere, did it?’ 
‘Aww... honey, not all guys are like Bo. If I thought all guys were like Phillip, I wouldn't be with Nathan now. And I’ve gone through heartache and pain but I never stopped believing in love or that I’ll eventually find my handsome prince. You’re made for love, Darcy.’ Melanie said persuasively. ‘Your prince is round the corner, I know it.’ 
‘I have Maman and my art... I’m more than content. I don't need a prince.’ 
Melanie grinned. ‘Famous last words of single gals till they meet him.’ 
Maxine appeared, waving at Darcy before urgently beckoning to Melanie. Patting her friend’s cheek, Melanie hurried over to the Head Nurse. 
A prince... princes only existed in fairy tales and fantasies. Making a sound of disgust, Darcy walked towards Carly’s office but then someone else hailed her. ‘Darcy, hi.’ 
Her heart fluttered at the sound of his voice. He was the only man in Salem who’s held her interest but she was far too cynical about men since Bo’s behaviour to give him much thought these days. Slowly she turned, meeting his handsome eyes. ‘Hello.’ she managed to say. 
Daniel Jonas walked up to Darcy Manning, his eyes sweeping over her. Her own beauty was different from Carly’s; not beautiful in the classic sense but her long black hair and warm brown eyes plus an indefinable, natural allure earned her a lot of stares. The deep purple cashmere top and short black denim skirt she was wearing hugged her willowy figure and drew attention to her long legs.
‘I haven’t seen you here in a while; how are you?’ he asked, kissing her on the cheek. 
‘I’ve been well, thank you.’ To her horror, Darcy felt her cheeks grow warm as she blushed. ‘And you?’ 
‘Can’t complain. What are you doing here?’ 
‘I brought my mother lunch.’ She held up a brown paper bag. ‘I was just going to wait for her in her office.’ 
‘ Why not instead I treat you to coffee and a Danish at the cafeteria while you wait.’ 
Darcy’s first impulse was to refuse. But this was the first time she was seeing Daniel smile since his unhappy divorce and the first time she’ll be alone with him. ‘Okay, I would like that, Dr. Jonas.’ 
Daniel chuckled, taking her arm. ‘ Come on...we’ve known each other long enough to be informal. Please, call me Daniel.’ 
‘Alright, Daniel.’ 
Daniel led the way, glancing at her profile. He loved the way his name rolled out of her mouth... that beautiful, sensual mouth; loved the expensive perfume on her, loved the touch of her under his fingers. He’d begun noticing her properly a month ago but was too busy to find time to see and ask her out. She was the one woman since Chloe who made his heart race and pound; he wanted all of her and he was going to have her. 
Darcy composed herself as he drew back a chair for her and went to get the coffees. ‘Merci,’ she murmured when he placed the saucer and steaming cup in front of her. 
‘My pleasure.’ Daniel sat opposite her. ‘Carly told me this morning that you’re preparing for a show at the gallery.’ 
‘Umm... yes. My agent feels I should have my first exhibition here and then later on New York or abroad.I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately, plus a few sculptures.’ 
‘Carly said they’re great.’ 
‘Maman’s biased.’ Darcy said, sipping her coffee. 
‘If she says they’re great, I’m sure they are and I’ll be there the day they’re on display.’ 
Darcy smiled shyly, the tension on her shoulders disappearing. ‘It’s very kind of you; I would be honoured if you could come.’ 
‘I will.’ Daniel promised, his eyes fixed on her face. ‘You know Darcy... I’m been meaning to call you for a while now ...I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately.’ 
And the tension came back with full force. ‘Oh?’ she murmured.
‘Yeah... I was wondering you would let me take you out to dinner some time, we can finally get to know each other better.’ 
Finally he was saying the words Darcy never thought he would ever say to her. It had broken her heart watching him with Chloe but though he was now free; she found herself reluctant at the idea of being with him or having a relationship with him. ‘I don't know Daniel, I’m very busy these days as you know.’ 
‘True, but even an artist has to take an evening off now and then. Come on, it will be fun, we could catch a show as well. After living a sheltered life, you need to get out more. Please.’ He took hold of her hand. ‘I really like you and I want to take you out. What do you say?’ 
‘I...’ Darcy faltered. 
‘Maman!’ she sprang up at the sound of Carly’s voice, filled with relief. Carly kissed her. ‘Melanie told me you were here and I can see that you’re being taken care of.’ She smiled at Daniel. 
‘I brought you lunch, Cuban sandwich.’ Darcy handed the paper bag to her. 
‘Yummy... Thanks.’ 
Daniel rose as his pager went off. ‘I’ll see you two ladies later.’ With a meaningful glance at Darcy, he left them alone. Carly stared after him then back at her daughter. ‘Did I interrupt something important between you two?’ 
‘I hardly know the man, why would there be anything important?’ Darcy asked defensively, her cheeks going red again. Seeing the baffled expression on her mother’s face; she sighed. ‘Dr. Jonas... I mean Daniel asked me to go on a date with him and I was going to tell him no.’ 
‘Why?’ Carly asked in amazement. 
‘Why? You wouldn’t mind?’ 
‘Of course not! Daniel’s a wonderful man... a good man. I couldn't have chosen anyone better for you.’
Darcy shook her head in disbelief. ‘You are joking.’ She muttered. 
‘Darcy,’ Carly stroked her hair. ‘Why are you being like this?’ 
‘Romance is not in my priority list; that's why. My priorities are you, the baby and my work! And it’s not like I have any reason to trust men these days.’ 
‘Oh...’ Carly put her arm round Darcy’s shoulders. ‘Is that what this is all about? You’re using my experience as a yardstick... come on!’ 
‘I don't deny Daniel is a good man and I do like him, Maman... I just don't want to be involved with anybody, not for a while at least.’ On a sudden thought she added, ‘You would suit him better.’ 
Carly couldn’t help but laugh. ‘Me and Daniel? No way, not in a million years. We’re friends... he’s like a brother to me; always been.’ 
‘You’re both doctors and you’re both unattached.’ 
‘You do remember that I’m also carrying another man’s child.’ 
‘At least this time he will know up front that it’s not his.’ 
‘Darcy!’ Carly said firmly. ‘Don't try to match make us just because you’re afraid of your own feelings or for other reasons you probably have; you should give him a chance. After living with the nuns all those years; the world’s your oyster now. Daniel’s asking you on a date, not putting a ring on your finger.’ 
Darcy hesitated then shrugged. ‘All right, I will do it. But just this once. Nothing will come out of this because I don't want it.’ 
It was more to it than that. Not only did she distrust men now; it would be sheer sacrilege for her to have a happy ending after her mother’s heartbreak. She deeply resented Bo and Hope more for flashing it for all to see and she wasn't about to do the same time to Carly. She came first, always would.

‘By the way.’ Carly said, pulling Darcy back down on her chair and sitting opposite her. ‘Bo came to see me.’

‘What did he want this time?’
‘It’s about Ciara. Bo says she misses you;  the poor thing obviously doesn't understand why you haven’t been visiting her.’
Darcy’s face softened. ‘Well... of course I feel terrible for neglecting her. But the situation is just too awkward.’
‘I know but your sister can’t be allowed to pay for her father’s sins either. And there’s your grandmother.’
‘The same woman who blamed you for a crime she committed herself?’ Darcy asked amazed and angry. ‘She switched that paternity test to protect Stephanie and after Nathan left her, she said it was your fault... for  keeping Chloe’s infidelity to yourself ! Like they wouldn't have accused you of home wrecking if you had spoken up! Next thing you’ll be telling me to forge a relationship with that horrible man, Victor Kiriakis- who I still can’t believe expects me to remain in his life! This is why I wanted us to leave Salem Maman... this is all too much, too much!’
Carly laid her hand on Darcy’s clenched fists ‘Calm down now. ’
‘I understand you want me to repair my relationship with Ciara but not the others, not them!’
‘They are your family.’
‘But the way they treated you! How do you expect me to forget, how can you forget? Please Maman, don’t ask me do this, I just can’t.’
Carly sighed. ‘It’s not likely I can ever forget what happened. But I won’t allow it to change me... or you.  I can’t spend the rest of my life holding grudging against the people who, once upon a time, were my whole life.’
Darcy stared at her mother carefully. ‘You’re still in love with him?’ she asked softly.
Carly bowed her head then looked up again. ‘That’s not the point, cricket. They may have changed but I haven’t, at least I hope not. And I’m not expecting you to forget that easy but... please try so we can move on. Letting go is  far better than nursing pain and hate, it will only eat you inside and lord knows what you might do in a fit of rage. I want you to keep being my sweet girl, beyond reproach.’
Darcy scowled but nodded. ‘Fine. I’ll spend more time with Ciara but as for the others... it is impossible, I just can’t do it. But I never do  anything to shame you- that I promise. Contrary to what that woman would probably be worrying about, she is not worth... how is it said... swinging for. I go to see her tomorrow.’
‘Good girl.’ Carly leaned forward and kissed her on both cheeks. ‘In the meantime, go look for Daniel and give him your answer.’ 

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