Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birthday Reflection

Tuesday was my 33rd my birthday; another year on earth. I thought about it all day and I went over the good things in my life. True I can't afford rent, I'm short of money often, I don't have a job at present  and I'm yet to finish my part time course at the University of Lagos; a huge ton of work. But several years ago I was involved in a car accident which killed the driver and I... who sat next to him that day was saved and I was able to celebrate my 21st birthday with my family. Since then, I keep reminding myself I was given another chance by God so I mustn't complain about the stressful times in my life. I'm  alive, my first children's books were published in 2006, I still write and I hope my next book and the books that follow  will be a very huge success. I have my friends and family, even sweet and friendly ones I chat with via Twitter. Today I thanked God for another year on earth and for everything I have achieved since that fateful day in 2000. Life is a precious gift and we must never take it for granted. When there's life; there's hope and with absolute faith in God; one can achieve just about anything and everything. Which I must remember everyday because one of my worse habits is being a serial worrier; which gives me major migraines. 
So I thank God for another birthday; and I pray for many more birthdays so I can serve Him better. He knows more than anyone that I'm not perfect but He's always been there for me. And by His Grace; everything good will come. Amen

“Faith is believing that God is going to take you places before you even get there.”-Matthew Barnett 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Birthday Reflection

Today happens to be my birthday; another year on earth. I thought about it all day and I went over the good things in my life. True I can't afford rent, I'm short of money often, I don't have a job at present  and I'm yet to finish my part time course at the University of Lagos; a huge ton of work. But several years ago I was involved in a car accident which killed the driver and I... who sat next to him that day was saved and I was able to celebrate my 21st birthday with my family. Since then, I keep reminding myself I was given another chance by God so I mustn't complain about the stressful times in my life. I'm  alive, my first children's books were published in 2006, I still write and I hope my next book and the books that follow  will be a very huge success. I have my friends and family, even sweet and friendly ones I chat with via Twitter. Today I thanked God for another year on earth and for everything I have achieved since that fateful day in 2000. Life is a precious gift and we must never take it for granted. When there's life; there's hope and with absolute faith in God; one can achieve just about anything and everything.
So I thank God for another birthday; and I pray for many more birthdays so I can serve him Better. He knows more than anyone that I'm not perfect but He's always been there for me. And by His Grace; everything good will come. Amen

Friday, September 21, 2012

CARBO FAN FICTION- Return Journey: Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Bo found himself unable to work; he couldn't get over what Carly told him. Maybe he was crazy but he found himself unable to believe a word of it. This was the same woman who got married to get over him after he’d pushed her away but never gave herself to her husband. The same woman who refused to let him make love to her at the cabin because she wanted more than a roll in the hay. The same woman who never cheated on him during his two long months of captivity or their separation after their botched wedding. The Carly Manning he knew-who always believed in love- would never do what she said, no matter what. She was angry and hurt...yes; but she would never settle for meaningless sex; not after being betrayed by Victor and Lawrence who’d professed to love her.
Leaning back, Bo thought over the night she arrived in Salem. She’d phoned him; asking him to meet her at The Java. He’d known Lawrence was dead but not by Carly’s hand and he’d gone to see her; burning with curiosity and anticipation.

‘Hello Bo.’ She got up. ‘It’s been a long time.’
He automatically took her hands; stunned to see her and appalled at the vivid pink bruises on her face, a bandage over one eyebrow. She looked wan and thin but her smile was as sweet as he remembered. ‘Carly... this is a surprise. I couldn't believe it when I heard your voice over the phone.’
‘I figured it was best to call instead of showing up at your house.’ She replied. ‘It’s good to see you.’
‘It’s good to see you too.’ He touched her cheek. ‘You look hard done by there.’
She grimaced. ‘Yeah, I suppose so.’
They sat down and Bo ordered coffee. ‘I read about Larry in the papers; was it political?’
‘I was the one who killed him.’ Carly said flatly. ‘Self defence.’
He shook his head, shocked. ‘How long did he abuse you? He abused you, didn't he?’
She nodded. ‘A month after we got married; he fell sick and... it rendered him sterile. He took out his rage and disappointment on me and he was worse than he was in the beginning. I realised once again I was dealing with an illusion.’
Bo took her hand, squeezing it. He knew Larry all too well but he didn't want to stand in Carly’s way at the time. ‘Why didn't you call me... I would’ve helped you.’
‘ Lawrence followed your life after he recovered- he had this paranoid feeling you would come after me eventually. He threatened to...hurt you. Especially after I found out I was pregnant.’
 ‘I don't understand...’
‘ I was tested Bo; the baby wasn't his- but yours. That last day... we finally made a baby.’
‘Oh my God. Did Larry kill our child?’ he demanded harshly, filled with anger and fear.
‘No; he ordered his lawyer to arrange an adoption but Leo- a wonderful man- took her to a convent. I sent money for her upkeep and visited her when I could... on her birthdays especially.’ She sniffled. ‘But the beatings and rapes never stopped; he did other things...’
‘You should’ve called me; Carly!’
‘Lawrence was a powerful man- he vowed to kidnap you and have you cut  open in front of me....’ she sobbed. ‘He said if wiping you off the face of the earth was what it took to make me accept I was his wife forever; he would do it! I had to protect you; I was afraid he would do something to Shawn D too, he mentioned his name sometimes...’
‘It’s okay...okay.’ he held on to her hands, consoling her. ‘It’s over, he can never hurt you again, Carly. Alright?’
She nodded.
‘So... my daughter?’
She smiled again. ‘She came here with me; she can’t wait to meet you. I told her to wait by the newsstand.’
‘Well, bring her in!’
Wiping her eyes, she reached for her cell and dialled. ‘You can come in now.’
Bo turned, waiting in anticipation . In a few minutes; a young woman in a fur coat entered the coffee shop, walking to their table. He got up slowly, staring at her. Nervously, she stared back. Carly got up, moving to stand beside her, pushing back the long black hair half hiding her face.  
‘Bo, I like to introduce you to Darcy Isabella Marlena Manning. Cricket... this is your father.’
Speechless, Bo held his daughter’s face between his hands; it was like beholding a beautiful, female version of his own. ‘Hi.’ He said at last.
‘Hello... Papa.’ His daughter replied softly.

While he’d gotten to know his daughter, he’d found himself  irresistibly drawn to Carly every time he was with her. A lot of things had happened and  changed since she was away; but she was still the same lovely woman he’d fallen in love with years ago; in spite of what Larry had inflicted on her. The fateful afternoon they’d make love; he truly didn't  plan it, nor did she. But Vivian had frightened her by causing the elevator in the hospital to malfunction with her in it; which triggered off a panic attack. After getting her out, he’d taken her home...

‘Feel better now?’ he asked as she came out of the bathroom, wiping her damp face with a towel.
She nodded. ‘Thanks. That bitch just knows how to push my buttons. As if burying me alive wasn't enough- she pulls this stunt.’
‘ I can get a restraining order on her tomorrow. I won’t have her harassing you- or Darcy.’
‘A restraining order won’t stop her; she’ll laugh in your face too.’
‘Thanks to her, you went through hell for several years- instead of living here safe with me. This is personal.’
‘Bo, please. You already have your hands full with problems, don't fight my battles also. Vivian’s just being a nuisance.’
‘That nuisance buried you alive right under my nose. She wasn't even punished; Victor got her committed to a mental hospital instead. She came here to hurt you and probably Darcy and I won’t let her.’
Carly sighed. ‘Some things never change. You all  protective like this.’
Bo regarded her silently as she sat next to him and took off her shoes, rubbing her feet. Several minutes ago she’d been hysterical, now she seemed in control of herself. ‘You’re sure you’re going to be okay? Where’s Darcy anyway?’
‘She drove off somewhere to paint.’
‘I don't like the sound of that; not with Vivian still here. She could be having her followed or something.’
‘You want to assign a guard on her; I imagine.’ Carly looked at him. ‘But how long will Darcy have to look over her shoulder? She’s just finally starting to enjoy the world.’
‘I just want her safe, you too.’
She smiled faintly. ‘We’ll always be safe... as long as Vivian remembers she can’t fool you a second time.’ She patted his hand.
He took her hand,  so soft  under his. ‘You never talked about it. What went down the coffin.’
She tried to pull her hand away but he held on to it. ‘I don't want to talk about it... I don't ever  want to think about it again.’ she whispered.
‘I need to know Carly. When you walked up to me and Billie that night and I found out everything; I felt I’d failed you in some way...’
‘’ she protested.
‘I should’ve followed my instincts. I told John I had the feeling you weren't really dead, your hand felt warm at the chapel...’
‘You aren’t to blame for what happened to me, Bo.’ She insisted, reaching up to touch his cheek. Sighing, she put her hand down. ‘Okay. After the first shock, Vivian kept taunting me through the radio she’d placed in the coffin. Anytime she wasn't on, the walls kept closing in on me... I needed to put my mind somewhere else. I would then think of you – all the time I thought about you; wishing you would come for me, believing somehow you would figure it out and get me out. At the funeral... when you stood over me, holding my hand... I tried  squeezing your fingers but the drug didn't let me...’ she sobbed. ‘You got me going... I believed you would come...’
Bo held her in his arms; kissing her forehead- longing to kill Vivian a hundred times over. That woman was Evil personified and she’d gone unpunished.
‘I’m sorry, princess. I’m so sorry.’ he whispered, stroking her hair. Raising her head, he kissed her, gently at first and then passionately. She kissed him back but then she pulled away, getting up.
‘What...what are we doing?’ she stammered.
‘You tell me.’ Getting to his feet , he pulled her against him and began kissing her again. She didn't resist him- she ran his fingers through his hair, pressing herself against him. He felt consumed with desire as he ran his fingers over the familiar soft skin ; passion at its peak. Walking her backwards, he lifted her; placing her on a mahogany bureau.
‘We shouldn’t be doing this,’ she whispered  but all the same she pulled his jacket down his shoulders and arms and unknotted his tie.
‘Stop me then.’ He whispered against her lips, pulling her top over her head. ‘Make me stop  kissing you, touching you, feeling you...’ he devoured her mouth ; holding her head between his hands; her legs wrapping his waist. Moving down, her buried his face against her neck, pushing her skirt up her thighs.  
‘I can’t...’ she gasped; holding on to him.
‘Then  hush.’ his lips moved back up her jaw then her lips again, kissing her repeatedly. She tasted wonderful... like she always did and he wanted to lose himself in her. She tore at his shirt and he helped her get it off; taking off the black vest he wore underneath  before lifting  her in his arms again.  
‘I love you Bo.’ She whispered as he lowered her on the bed.

I love you Bo...
Bo stared at the wall, his expression grim. Carly actually called herself a whore and her baby a bastard; her  whole tone harsh and bitter. She would never call his child a bastard; hell she never referred to Nicholas as Larry’s bastard when she first told him about the baby she supposedly lost. If she was lying, it would be to protect him; there was no way she would stand between him and Hope by using a child. Carly’s been known to lie, mainly to protect the people she loved, not herself- never herself.
You’re not special to me anymore...  the words of a heartbroken woman but a heartbroken woman would want the lover who jilted her to feel sorry enough  to go back to her. Carly, on the other hand wanted him off her back. He  basically did  the same thing to her years ago when he was stricken with the virus; lied that his feelings for her had changed so she wouldn't know he was sick. He’ll never forget how she cried and the look of pain on her face at his cruel words, they had hurt him more than her.They've always thought alike. But suppose she was telling the truth??? 
 ‘I wanted to hurt him... like he hurt me.’ Carly said, shaking her head, tears rolling down her cheeks. ‘And now... I feel so terrible for everything I said to him. The whole time it didn't sound like me talking... like it was somebody else saying those awful things to him. What have I become, just what?’
Maxine held Carly in her arms as she sobbed against her shoulder. Passing her door, she’d heard Carly crying and  immediately went in to comfort her. Before Carly knew what she was doing, she’d told the motherly Head Nurse everything after stopping her from calling Darcy.  
 ‘You’re hurting. It’s  perfectly natural to want to lash out... transfer the pain. It doesn't make you a terrible person so don't be so hard on yourself.’ Maxine said softly; filled with pity.  ‘And it’s  best he never finds out the baby’s his and I’m saying that for your own sake, not his. You’re the victim in all this; Dr. Manning and it makes me very angry... I wish there was something I could do.’
Carly wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, turning to Maxine. ‘You’ve done more than you think  and I thank you for that. I was never close to my own mother and with Mrs. Horton dead and Caroline...’ she gulped, but held  on to Maxine’s hand. ‘I feel better talking to you.’
Maxine freed her hand, to push back a few strands of hair from Carly’s damp forehead. ‘I’m always here to listen. You probably think you don't need anybody except Darcy but it pays to have another shoulder to lean on.’
‘My brother’s in D.C... we talk. He wanted to come here but I wouldn't  allow it. And my son promised to come soon, when he can leave his work. The only real friend I have besides you and Daniel is Adrienne; at  least she hasn’t changed.’
‘More like she still remembers who you are; I’ve seen you two together, she obviously cares a lot about you. Hold on to what you still got  Dr. Manning- not what or who  you’ve lost and draw strength from it, especially that little baby in you. Okay?’
‘Okay. Thanks again... I do feel better, honest.’ Carly smiled faintly. ‘You don't have to call me Dr. Manning, you know. We’ve gone past formality already.’
But Maxine shook her head. ‘Won’t be proper. But after hours or when we’re problem. You’re going to be alright?’
‘Yeah, I will.’ Carly glanced at her watch. ‘I’ll just go grab something to eat.’
‘I can send somebody to get you something...’
‘No, no... I’ll go myself. But thanks.’
Satisfied, Maxine got up and left the office.
Hold on to what you still got.... Carly touched her stomach; at the same thinking of Darcy, Nicholas and Frankie ; her family. Darcy was half of Bo and so was the baby- she must never forget that. Nicholas  was the only good thing she got from Lawrence and Frankie; her darling brother- she drew comfort from the fact he knew her inside out  and will never turn his back on her. As long as she still had their love and support, along with Daniel and Adrienne’s- Bo and the rest of Salem could rot.
‘Cricket, can I come in?’ Carly asked, knocking on Darcy’s bedroom door.
‘Yes, Maman.’
Carly entered and stopped in her tracks at the sight before her. Darcy looked unbelievably beautiful in the black halter neck dress, her hair styled to perfection, her face carefully made up. 
‘What do you think?’ she asked anxiously, turning round for her mother’s inspection. ‘Yards and yards of bare skin... I feel naked.’
‘You look beautiful, very beautiful.’ Carly went to her and kissed her on the cheek. ‘Daniel’s going to swoon.’
Darcy sighed, shaking her head. ‘it’s just dinner Maman... nothing more.’
‘Which is what I want to talk about you. Sit down.’
Darcy sank down on the bed. ‘What is it?’
Carly put her arm round Darcy’s shoulders. ‘What do you feel for Daniel?’
Darcy went red. ‘I... I like him; he’s a friend.’
‘No Darcy... he’s more than that and you and I both know it. Tell me the truth now.’
Darcy ducked her head, wringing her hands; unable to say anything.
‘You’re in love with him, aren’t you? You’ve been in love with him ever since you met him but you kept it to yourself, out of respect for Chloe. But even though he’s free from her, you don't want to be with him, not because you don't trust him but because you feel you’ll be getting something I was denied, right?’
She nodded, then looked at her mother. ‘Everybody here has a happy ending. Papa and that woman... Aunt Adrienne and her husband, Melanie and Nathan, Victor and Mrs. Horton- it just isn't fair you’re alone.’
‘As long as I have you and your brother and your uncle Frankie and the few friends I have left; I’ll never be alone.’ Carly stressed. ‘I realised that today and it made me think long and hard. I still have people who love me and support me and I have a baby on the way. I’m not going to keep feeling sorry for myself or fret over losing Bo...not anymore. And I don't want you to turn away from the love of a good man who I’m absolutely sure wants to have a future with you. Maybe the age difference is a bit wide but I’ve seen how Daniel’s eyes light up when he mentions your name, how you blush and look shy when he’s nearby. I get joy seeing you happy and I want you to be very happy, my darling girl. I’m done feeling sad so don't feel sad for me. Embrace the future in front you instead of the past and follow your heart.’
‘You’re a beautiful person, Maman.’ Darcy said, touched by Carly’s words. ‘I love you so much.’ she hugged her.
‘I love you too, cricket.’ Carly hugged her back, her cheek against her hair. ‘From now on, we never need to discuss Bo at all.’
‘Alright, Maman. We won’t.’
By the time Daniel arrived to pick up Darcy, he sensed a change in her immediately. Instead of the hesitant, shy smiles he always got from her; the one he saw was one of pure radiance and her brown eyes sparkled as he took her arm. Daniel was overjoyed and felt more optimistic about her reaction when he finally told her how he felt about her. Carly saw them to the door, waving as they drove off. She smiled, rubbing her stomach again. Maxine was right and now she felt stronger and more at peace. She had no idea she was being watched very intently.
‘I’m telling you this now not just because I don't want secrets between us but so you won’t be bothered by rumours that will circulate soon enough.’
‘Why did you go to see her in the first place?’ Hope asked quietly.
‘I went to thank her for talking to Darcy for me, nothing more.’
‘Is that the real reason, Brady? You still care about her, obviously.’
‘I know where my heart lies. If I feel guilty it’s because of the way it ended between us; years ago, Carly and I started off as friends and she loved Shawn D very much. We can never be friends again which is tough because we share a daughter and you know I want to keep Darcy in my life.’
‘I’m aware of that and I understand. So Carly’s pregnant and she said you aren’t the father.’
‘That’s what she said, and very certain about it too.’
Hope watched Bo carefully, trying to read the impassive look on his face as he sipped his beer from the bottle. ‘Are you sorry?’
Bo turned to look at her. ‘About what?’
‘That the baby isn't yours. Caroline told me how upset you were you weren't there when Darcy was born, how you missed out raising her. Are you sorry?’
‘Does it matter what I feel? Carly’s past tense and we’ve moved on, case closed.’
‘Well... just as well.’
‘Carly would never use a child to come between us.’
‘You know her better than I do but that’s not what I meant. I was able to accept Darcy- the circumstances were different with her- but I wouldn’t have accepted another love child, Bo. It would always remind me of the time we were apart; when you were with Carly until we got back together. Call me selfish but that’s how I feel. I love you Bo and I need to know you’re fully committed to me. I don't ever want to be reminded of your affair with Carly- in any form.’
Bo stared after her as she went to the kitchen before sinking back against the couch. After thinking about it for a long time he’d made the decision  to tell Hope about Carly’s pregnancy, so she wouldn't find a reason to end their marriage again; at least that what he told himself. But he felt no peace after doing so. And try  as he might, he was unable to feel relieved  the baby wasn't his even after what Hope said; refused to believe Carly would give herself to a stranger for a one night stand. She was human but she  all that was good and pure too. Common sense told him to let it go- he’d left her for Hope; unable to let go of their memories and years together. But he couldn't bear the thought of Carly with another man-  if she was telling the truth- just thinking about it made him very angry and he realised it  wasn't   guilt for driving her to somebody else; it was jealousy.
‘You married Victor. You say you love me and you marry my father. You sleep with my father!’ The thought of made him sicker than he  felt already.
Carly however didn't flinch at his words. ‘I didn't.’ She said quietly.
He wasn't sure he’d heard right. ‘What do you mean you didn't... you were married to him the whole time and you didn't sleep with him?’
She shook her head, her expression earnest. ‘I never slept with him, Bo.’
‘You were married to the guy!’ he argued.
‘I never slept with Victor.’ she repeated, not breaking eye contact.
‘You expect me to believe that?’
‘It’s the truth, I wouldn’t lie about something like this.’
‘You lied to me today, princess.’ Bo said to himself. ‘ You wouldn't numb betrayal by giving yourself just like that... it’s never been you.’
He needed to talk to her again as soon as possible.
Hand in hand, Daniel and Darcy walked to the door; giggling like teenagers. Darcy had completely come out of her shell; to his delight. ‘Thank you for this, Daniel.’ She said. ‘It was a beautiful evening.’  
‘Thank you making it  more so.’ Daniel stroked her cheek with a finger. ‘I was the envy of every man at the restaurant.’
‘Oh...; I’ve not a trophy to you, am I?’ she teased.
‘Never.’ Daniel smiled down at her tenderly.
‘I’m sorry, by the way.’
‘For the way I acted... aloof. Maman made me realise that I’ve been so silly; thinking it wasn't right for me to be happy when she wasn't.’
‘But you are happy now, aren’t you Darcy?’ he encircled her waist with his arms, pulling her closer. Instinctively she slipped her arms round his neck.
‘I am.’ She smiled wider. ‘Very happy.’
‘And I intent to always make you feel this way.’ He lifted one hand to brush back her hair. ‘You fill my whole life, you know. I wanted to wait a while before telling you this but I just have to say it now...  I love you Darcy Manning, so much.’
Darcy pressed her face against Daniel’s; tears falling down her cheeks as she thought of how she’d vowed to forfeit love. ‘I love you too. I’ve loved you for a long time...’
Tears pricking his own eyes, Daniel gave Darcy her first kiss with tender possessiveness; feeling like the luckiest man in the world.
Two days later
Carly ran into Daniel at the pier on her way back from her doctor’s. ‘Hey.’
‘Hey yourself.’ Daniel scanned her face sharply. ‘You alright?’
‘Yes, why?’ Carly asked warily.
‘You’ve been off colour for a while and right now you look beat. What’s wrong?’
‘Well you know... the usual. Nothing but work, I’m just tired.’
‘It’s noon and you didn't perform any surgery today. Are you sick?’
‘No Daniel I’m fine... really.’ She assured him. So far the only member of staff who knew her condition was Maxine; she wasn't ready to tell anybody else but she knew she would still have to inform Lexie.
‘Come on, you can tell me... I’m your friend aren’t I?’
Carly was about to answer  when another wave of  dizziness  hit her, making her stumble. Immediately,  Daniel led her to a park bench and hurried to the vending machine opposite and got her a bottle of water. ‘Thank you.’ she said, taking it from him after he unscrewed the cap.
‘Out with it Manning, tell me what wrong with you; you can trust me. Does Darcy know about this?’
Carly drank some water then turned to him. ‘I’m not sick Daniel, I’m pregnant.’
Daniel whistled. Carly nodded, her face grim.
‘Oh wow...’ Daniel sat back. ‘Does Bo know?’
‘What did he say?’
 ‘I told him the baby isn't his.’
‘What?’  he shouted, astonished. ‘Are you kidding? Why would you do that?’
Carly’s expression changed from grim to mocking. ‘You honestly think I was  going to tell Bo the truth?’
‘Carly, I’ll be the first to admit that Bo was a jerk to you and you  probably don't want him involved with the baby but as the father, he has the right to know.’
‘No Daniel... he doesn't.’ Carly said harshly. ‘Bo has no rights to this child, this child is mine and mine alone! I’m not going to let my baby be the cause of any rift between him and Hope and I won’t be named as the cause either, not again. Everybody saw it fit to regard me as an interloper and a  home wrecker and I believe your godfather has a more sophisticated label for me.’
Daniel cringed, cursing Victor under his breath. ‘You’re afraid everybody will say you’ll use the baby to lure Bo back?’
Carly nodded. ‘I have to protect myself and my baby. I make him think I had a one night stand.’
‘You honestly think he bought that story?’
‘His marriage means a lot to him, he made that crystal clear. If he doesn't want to lose Hope again, he’ll have to take my word for it.’
‘I know you, Carly Manning. You aren’t  just protecting yourself and the baby, you’re protecting Bo himself.’
‘I’m not protecting Bo.’ She denied.
‘The hell  you’re not! You’re mad at him but you still love him. If you weren't protecting Bo, you wouldn't care if his marriage fell apart again; it would be your way to get even with him and Hope and that’s not you.’ Daniel put his arm around her. ‘You’re a beautiful person, Carly. You would never hurt anybody, not even those who hurt you.’
Carly smiled faintly. ‘Thanks for understanding, Daniel.’
‘Don’t mention it. I’m here for you. When the baby comes I’ll settle for  the role of either godfather or protective brother-in-law.’
Carly sat straight, her eyes widening. ‘Brother-in-law?’
Daniel’s grin made him appear more boyish than usual. ‘Darcy’s  such an amazing girl. I’m not going to rush her or anything but when the time comes... I sure hope we get your blessing.’  
‘Oh my God, Daniel!’ Carly hugged him enthusiastically. ‘You got it already! Oh, this is wonderful!’
‘Honestly, I never thought I would feel this way again after Chloe. I’d given up on love...completely! And then all of a sudden, I saw Darcy with new eyes and she lit a spark in me. Before I knew it...’ he shook his head. ‘She makes me so happy, Carly. I love her so much.’
Carly shook her head, smiling widely. ‘Oh Daniel... I’m thrilled. This is the best news I’ve heard since the baby.’
Bo turned the corner in time to see Daniel kiss Carly’s hands. He stared, backing up a bit to watch them unobserved.
‘Well, I guess this makes us almost family right?’ Carly said.
‘We are already. I love you and Darcy, you know that. And...’ he rested his hand on Carly’s stomach. ‘This little guy is going to see  a lot of me when he arrives.’
‘Just how do you know it’s going to be a boy? Darcy said she hopes it’s a girl. She’s already bought  lots of  pink  and yellow yarn to knit some booties and little coats.’
‘Either way; he or she will learn how to play catch from me.’
Carly laughed as he patted her stomach again. Daniel laughed with her ; hugging her tightly.
Bo turned away, his ears ringing;  hands balled into fists. There was a mystery man after all and it wasn't a stranger like Carly tried to make him believe, it was Daniel. Daniel’s  the baby’s  father.
You  son of a bitch!  He screamed in his head.
‘It’s done, Mr. Kiriakis.’
‘You sure she or my granddaughter will never notice?’
‘Those cameras and microphones I planted in their house are not only state of the art; they are bug sized.’  Punching a few buttons, every room of Carly’s house appeared on the monitors. Victor noted with reluctant admiration that Carly had decorated her living room, kitchen and bedrooms Laura Ashley style; the whole place looked like an English country home; pastoral and comfortable.
‘You’ll be able to see them and hear their conversations as clear as if you were in the house itself. Her phones are bugged too, except for her cell phone which she obviously carries about with her.’
Victor Kiriakis nodded with satisfaction. Now he could watch Carly’s every move; listen to her conversations. If she was going to plot against Bo and Hope; he was more than ready for her. And he will put a stop to it, immediately. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CARBO FAN FICTION- Return Journey: Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Hope looked up from the book she was reading to Ciara, noticing Ciara wasn't responding to the funny voices she was making. ‘What’s the matter?’ she asked.
‘Mummy, is Darcy mad at me?’ Ciara asked, her eyes huge pools of sadness.
‘No sweetie, why would you think that?’ Hope asked, stroking her cheek.
 ‘I used to go to Carly’s house all the time and we would paint together and she would come to grandpa’s house all the time to play with me or take me out. I don't see her any more now, why?’
Hope sighed. What was she supposed to tell an eight year old, that her other big sister refused to have anything to do with the family; that Darcy was very angry with everybody, probably her especially. Hope sighed. It was sad somebody got hurt after that dark period but there was nothing she could do about it. Bo had asked her to return home and while it stunned her  initially, she was overjoyed he still loved her after all . She wished Ciara hadn’t grown  so attached to Darcy because she would then be painfully reminded of Carly at the mention of Darcy’s name. She and Bo never talked about her and avoided her as much as possible, not that Carly bothered them or anyone else with her presence these days. But like a woman scorned she was probably nursing her wounds, waiting for the right opportunity for revenge- just like Billie did. But this time, she was going to be completely on her guard. Jennifer had assured her that Carly Manning didn't have a vicious bone in her body but she wasn't the one who struggled in the web of pain and deceit Billie and Chelsea had woven over her family. Carly was of a different class all together but she was a woman scorned all the same and as long as she remained in Salem, Hope couldn't rest easy.
‘You know Darcy’s an artist, Ciara; she’s probably been painting a lot lately. I’m sure as soon as she can, she’ll come over to hang out with you like before.’
Ciara didn't look convinced. ‘But she always said she was never too busy to see me; that she loved me. And I really liked being with her  and her Mum. Aunt Carly always gave me ice cream...’
‘I know, I know.’ Hope interrupted hastily, not wanting to launch into a discussion about Carly at all. ‘I tell you what... when Daddy comes home later, I’ll talk to him and he’ll have a word with Darcy for you, okay?’
Ciara nodded, now looking more optimistic. They both turned as the door bell rang and Hope went to answer it. ‘Oh... hi.’ She said, meeting Darcy’s cool eyes. ‘We were just talking about you.’
Darcy nodded curtly before walking past her, her face breaking into a genuine smile. ‘How’s my petite fille?’
‘Darcy!’ Ciara squealed, running to her outstretched arms, clinging to her as Darcy lifted her up. ‘You’re here!’
Darcy kissed her, hugging her close; Hope watching silently.
‘Why haven’t I seen you for so long?’ Ciara accused, her arms round her neck.
‘I’m sorry my love, I’ve been busy, very busy. But I am here to make it up to you. We will go out together now, just the two of us.’
‘Can I go Mummy, can I?’ Ciara asked eagerly.
‘Sure you can. Go upstairs and wash your hands and put on your jacket.’
Darcy set her down and Ciara ran upstairs. Hope turned to Darcy; shifting from one foot to the other. It still felt so disconcerting looking  at Carly’s daughter; she looked too much  like Bo. ‘Umm... thank you for doing this.’ she said at last. ‘Ciara’s been asking about you, I didn't really know what to tell her.’
‘Let me say this Mrs. Brady, so that we understand each other.’ Darcy said coldly. ‘This goes against what I was taught by the nuns but I don't like you; as a matter of fact, I really hate you. You caused my father grief by leaving him and taking my sister with you but when he chose to find happiness with my mother, you acted like she stole him  and that was when you decided you  wanted him to remain your husband. You went around acting like a martyr and elicited everybody’s support- even before Papa and Maman ever got together,  you were full of jealousy and paranoia. If it wasn't for Daniel, Papa would’ve died in this very room when you tried to kill him. But yet, after everything you did, including causing your own problems,  you came out the winner and my mother is suffering in silence.’
Hope wished for the earth to swallow her as she listened to the quiet, cold words from the young woman; feeling like a erring child being talked down by a parent. Darcy was  different from Chelsea; more  candid and as refined as Carly, two of the many reasons why she was  always so uncomfortable  and intimidated around her.
‘I’m sorry you feel this way.’ She said, quietly.
‘Justifiable hate is what I feel. So, since there is no way we can ever be friends, don't try to make small talk with me whenever I come to pick up Ciara. When you see me on the street, you avert your gaze and keep walking.’ Darcy raised a cynical, graceful eyebrow.  ‘I believe you can manage that since I will do the same.’
Ciara bounded down the stairs, oblivious of the burning tension between her mother and sister. ‘I’m ready.’
Darcy’s face softened in an instant. ‘Good. Let’s go.’ She took her hand and Hope walked them to the door; watching Darcy lead Ciara to a parked Toyota Prius. Ciara looked very happy; her small arm round her sister’s waist. She felt more  uneasy as she thought over Darcy’s words; Ciara trusted Darcy completely and she liked Carly. No woman in Carly’s shoes would just let what happened go so easily. Just suppose... just suppose Carly and Darcy decided to hurt her as a means of revenge, to get back at her?
She jumped as the doorbell rang again and she opened it. ‘Victor, what are you doing here?’
‘I just happened to be in the neighbourhood; thought I stop by.’ Hope made way for Victor to pass. ‘Where’s my little girl?’
‘She just went out with Darcy.’
Victor’s eyes lit up at the mention of his eldest granddaughter. ‘What a shame; I haven’t seen her in ages.’
‘Victor, you should’ve realised by now Darcy doesn't want to be around you or anyone else she feels hurt Carly!’ Hope snapped.
Victor shrugged. ‘I did warn Carly Bo would go back to you, that she was nothing but  an interlude. It’s her fault for chasing Bo in the first place; not you or anyone else. She couldn't possibly have expected anyone to take her side. I’m just sorry Darcy got caught in the middle of it; I’m very fond of that girl.’
‘Yeah well, your perfect little angel hates me.’ Hope said bitterly.
‘Darcy doesn't hate anyone.’
‘She hates me Victor... she stood right here and said it to my face; she blames me for whatever Carly’s going through!’ Hope threw up her arms. ‘Okay... maybe most of what she said was true but I never set out to hurt Carly; I just wanted my husband back.’
‘And you’ve got him back because he chose you. Darcy naturally feels resentment on Carly’s behalf but I’m sure it was blow over after a while. She’s a good girl; she won’t hold a grudge forever.’
‘I’m not so sure, Victor. And to be honest I’m worried. Any woman in Carly’s shoes would leave and not look back but she still here. Billie hovered around Bo in spite her promises she was over him and then she and Chelsea did all they could to break us up... and almost succeeded! And let’s not forget Chelsea killed Zack!’
That was an accident!’ Victor exclaimed, appalled. ‘You aren’t suggesting Darcy might do something to Ciara?’
‘Hatred can drive anyone to do horrible things; and a woman scorned won’t let things slide- she waits and plots!’ Hope insisted, now worked up.
‘You listen to me Hope, Darcy will never do what you’re thinking. She’s a wonderful young woman- in many ways she reminds me of Isabella. Don't look at me like that; I’m not letting sentiment cloud my judgment- Darcy’s beyond reproach.’
‘What about Carly then? You were once married to her, weren't you?’
‘Carly’s a different kettle of fish- she wasn't the woman I thought she was. I gave her love, she was lusting after my son the whole time. She had no respect for you when she lured Bo into bed. If you’re that worried about Carly, rest easy. She won’t be a problem- not if I can help it.’
Hope  stiffened, remembering Victor was a career criminal. ‘I’m not asking you to do anything to her!’ she said immediately.
‘I’m not going to. I’ll just have a word with her, that’s all.’
‘No Victor... no. You leave her alone; if anything happens to her...’
‘Hope, I’m not going to put out a contract on her, I don't do that. I’m just going to sit her down and have a serious conversation with her- as Darcy’s mother, we do need to come to sort of agreement. I don't want to miss out having a proper relationship with Darcy; I love her... no matter how I feel about Carly. So don't worry- I’ll take care of it.’
Hope looked at him warily, wishing she hadn’t confided her fears to him. She didn't want to think that way of him but if Carly suddenly disappeared and Victor was behind it- Bo will never forgive them both and she’ll lose him for good. ‘As long as you’re just going to talk to her... fine.’
Victor nodded. ‘Say hello to Ciara for me when she gets back. Take care of yourself.’
Sitting comfortably at the back of his limousine; Victor pulled out his cell phone and dialled a number. ‘Luigi; Kiriakis here. I have a problem that needs to be taken care of. Meet me at my house in 30 minutes.’
Carly was tired and  very hungry. Pregnancy for a woman her age was rather trying- all she wanted to do was just lie down and sleep and eat lots of Rocky Road ice-cream; her main craving. Sooner or later, she’ll have to inform Lexie about it- as her boss, she had the right to know so as to make the necessary arrangements later on. Lexie has already asked her why she looked rather pale and Melanie Layton- one of Hope’s former supporters- was overly concerned about her too.
Leaning against the counter at the nurses’ station, Carly rubbed the back of her neck- really exhausted. She got tired easily these days and she couldn't allow it to affect her work; not to mention it was too early to ask for maternity leave.
‘Dr. Manning; are you okay?’ Maxine asked, touching her shoulder. ‘You don't look well.’
Carly smiled faintly. ‘Just tired, that’s all.’
‘You’ve been looking pale lately.’ Maxine hesitated then asked tentatively, ‘You aren’t... aren’t feeling ill over what happened between you and Detective Brady are you? You probably need a check up then.’
‘There’s no cure for heartbreak and bitterness, Maxine. I’ve just been working hard lately, all I need is rest. But thank you for worrying about me.’ Carly patted Maxine’s plump arm.
‘Well, if you need anything or need to talk... I’m here, okay?’
Carly nodded. ‘Thanks, I appreciate that.’
‘Anytime.’ Maxine bustled away. Carly sighed, rubbing her head. Tomorrow was her appointment with her doctor at the private clinic she’d chosen; maybe Dr. Matthews will be able to give her something to battle the fatigue she’s been feeling. She couldn't go on like this.
‘Hey Carly.’ Daniel appeared at her elbow. ‘You okay?’
‘Yeah... peachy.’ Carly straightened, smiling. ‘So... tonight’s the big date. Am I allowed to ask where you’re taking my little girl?’
Daniel grinned. ‘Somewhere quiet, formal and classy; that’s all I’m saying.’
‘Darcy came to my room yesterday and went straight into my closet to find a dress. Deep down, she’s really excited about going out with you- I guess after I talked to her she  realised she’s been isolating herself all this time.’ She prodded Daniel’s chest with a finger. ‘Don't you dare try anything though...or else.’
‘I wouldn't dream of it.’ Daniel laughed, kissing her cheek. ‘I’ll treat her like a queen; promise.’
Treat her like a queen; Carly thought to herself as Daniel went to his office. She wondered if Daniel had given Darcy a hint on where he  was going to take her since Darcy had finally chosen a formal black  dress trimmed with silver thread for the occasion. Or maybe he was like Bo who never, ever revealed a planned surprise. He’d always been that way....
‘This is going to be our first real date.’
Bo’s eyebrows went up as he digested her words. ‘Yeah.’ His grin turned predatory. ‘You uh...don’t mind making love on the first date; do you?’
She smiled back. ‘You know me.’ she murmured.
‘I wish I did.’
‘Well, I’m a very liberal woman.’
‘Oh... lucky me.’
‘No... luckiest.’ She moved forward to receive another heated kiss from him. With great effort, Bo pulled back. ‘Get out of here... I’ll see you soon.’
‘But you haven’t told me where we’ll be; how are you going to find a place for us to be alone?’
‘You just go get ready; I’ll give you a call and tell you where to meet.’ He insisted.
‘You have something in mind, don't you?’ she persisted, willing him to tell her.
But he shook his head firmly. ‘You just go get ready.’
‘Okay.’ she knew when she was defeated but she had one more question. ‘How do I dress?’
‘If this is your way of trying to get me to...’
‘No... no... I just need to know how I’m going to dress!’ she replied anxiously. ‘Please?’
Letting out a sigh of exasperation, Bo said, ‘Okay- I’ll tell you. Plan for an evening fit for a princess. Okay?’
Carly pulled out a hanky from the pocket of her white coat and wiped her damp eyes; pushing the  happy memory to the back of her brain. She didn't get a happy ending but that didn't mean Darcy wasn't entitled to one. She was free from Lawrence and deserved to live her life to the fullest. Just like the baby within her was going to do. Tenderly, she  rubbed her stomach with both hands. This didn't and will never belong to Hope but it grieved her that Bo will never know the truth. Tears sliding down her cheeks, she walked to her office. Closing the door behind her, she took off the white coat and laid on the couch at the corner of the room. She could still feel his lips against hers; his voice filled with love as he held her in his arms.
I want you to know something, princess. You and I are going to have everything we want.’
Carly closed her eyes after weeping for a while.
‘Detective Brady, what a surprise.’ Maxine greeted as Bo walked towards her. ‘Is anything wrong?’
‘No Maxine. Is Dr. Manning around?’
‘She’s probably in her office. If you don't mind me asking, just why do you want to see her?’
‘It’s personal.’ Bo said gently.
Maxine didn't smile, instead she looked grim. ‘Look... I’ve known Dr. Manning long  enough to regard her as a friend and she’s very fragile right now. Let her be, she’s heartbroken enough as it is; she doesn't need you hovering around her.’
‘I didn't come here to upset Carly, Maxine; I just want to talk to her. Our last conversation didn't exactly end well... I just want to mend fences; that’s all.’
‘Huh... you honestly think she will want to be friends with you all the same?’ Maxine said, now angry. ‘My God, you’re so full of it!’
Bo sighed. ‘Maxine please... this is between me and Carly, no one else.’
‘Whatever. But watch your step; Carly isn't only a friend... she’s like the daughter I never had and she’s hurting... big time. If you hurt her even further, it won’t  just be Darcy you’ll answer to.’ Glaring at him, she strode away.
Shaking his head, Bo went to Carly’s office and knocked. No answer.
‘Carly... are you in here?’ he asked, entering cautiously. She wasn't at her desk. Then he saw her lying on the couch, asleep. Silently he went over, squatting by the couch to look at her closely. Her cheeks were tearstained; she’d obviously cried herself to sleep.
 Struggling not to cry himself, Bo touched her face; his fingers moving over her soft skin. He’d come over to thank her for talking to Darcy- something he could done over the phone- but he needed a plausible excuse to see her. Her pain was equal to his overwhelming  guilt and they was no way they’ll really be able to move on if both emotions weren't resolved and buried. She was still in his thoughts and the memory of how he’d betrayed her didn't allow him any peace. They both needed closure to really move on, her especially.
She didn't look well; her face wore a sickly pallor. Was she ill or she’d been over working herself?
 I’m good at hiding pain... she’d told him. But not this time. Bo felt so helpless and sad as he watched her lying there; knowing she’d been crying over him, probably vowing never to forgive and forget. What woman in her position would?
Carly suddenly stirred and opened  her eyes blinking. ‘Bo?’ she murmured, shrinking from his touch and sat up hurriedly. ‘What are you doing here, what do you want?’
He rose. ‘I... came to see you.’
‘Why?’ she demanded. ‘I already told you to leave me alone; why are you doing back here? I don't want you anywhere near me!’
‘Carly, please don't be this way with me. I’m not your enemy and you’re the mother of my daughter... I still care about you. I just wanted to see how you were.’
Carly rubbed her eyes and got up from the couch; pushing him aside to get to the water dispenser near her desk. ‘What is this about exactly, Bo?’ she asked bitterly as she filled a Styrofoam cup. ‘You coming  to check on me, what... to see just how much pain you inflicted? And why, because thinking about my pain is not allowing you to move on, because of your guilt?’
Bo bit his lip. Carly’s always was a good mind reader and knew him so well.  ‘I put you in a terrible position, Carly- I know that. You clearly read the signs and you did something you never thought you would do.’
Carly drank the cold water, setting the cup down on her desk before looking at him. ‘I just made it easy for you, Bo. You wanted to be with Hope; she was the one who you wanted to be with the whole time we were together. Victor was right... I was just an interlude and I actually thought he was just being spiteful... as always. I told myself some people will never change; you proved me wrong.’
‘Carly, I never lied about how I felt about you- I did love you.’ he said quietly.
‘Not the way you once did. You had no right to promise me what you didn't really mean. I didn't ask you for anything- I was happy enough watching you and Darcy make up for the lost years and then you took my heart and ripped it to pieces.’ Her voice shook. 'If you weren't sure what was in your heart- you should never have come to me; is that what you want to hear- the extent of my pain, is that what you want?’ she shouted. ‘So that it can die down and you can go back to your family with a clean conscience? You think it works that way?!’
‘I’m sorry...’ he whispered, his expression bleak. ‘I swear...I never meant to hurt you. I’m sorry for everything, I am, Carly.
‘Sorry isn't enough. I can never forget... or forgive. Let that be your cross, Bo. Get out and stay out of my life.’
‘I’m not going anywhere until I know you’re going to be alright; I still care about you!’
‘ I want you out of my office. Just leave right now!’ Carly shouted and then fell on the carpeted floor. Bo was immediately by her side. ‘Carly! Carly... are you alright?’ he asked, frightened. ‘Carly!’
Carly struggled weakly. ‘Let go of me...’
‘No, you need to be checked up on! I’ll call Daniel right now.’
‘No... don’t call anybody! I’m fine, get off me right now.’ She pushed his arms away and got up; shaking her head to force off the dizziness. Bo rose to his feet, staring at her anxiously. She was even paler than before and she holding her stomach. ‘Carly, you’re sick.’
‘No, I’m not.’
‘You can barely stand and you’re pale! How long as this been going on?’ he demanded. ‘What’s wrong with you, tell me please... let me help you!’
Carly was about to reply when she put a hand to her mouth and bolted for the bathroom. A sudden thought struck Bo and his blood ran cold as he heard the sound of her throwing up. Oh no; she wasn't...
‘My son came to his senses and went back to his wife but Carly Manning still poses a threat to his family. I need her taken care of, Luigi. You’re the expert in this sort of thing.’
Luigi Corleone nodded his head. ‘I am, Mr. Kiriakis.’
‘Good. This is very important so please don't mess it up.’
‘I’ve never messed up an assignment, sir. It will be done and no one will suspect anything.’
Victor knew what he’d instructed Luigi to do was downright illegal. But he had to right to protect his family from a vengeful predator.
Carly came out, pressing a cold cloth to her head; mortified. From the look on Bo’s face; he’d figured out her secret earlier than she’d planned.
‘You’re pregnant, aren’t you?’ he asked at last.
‘Yes.’ She replied, forcing her voice to sound neutral. No point denying it now.
‘Just when were you going to tell me you're carrying my child?’ he demanded.
‘Never because it’s none of your business!’ she snapped back; another reason why she was doing what she about to do suddenly dawning on her. The need to hurt him like he’d hurt her.
‘How can you say that? This is my baby! No wonder...look we can work something out somehow...’
‘Shut up, Bo. There’s nothing to work out because you’re not the father!’ She almost laughed at the stunned expression on his face. ‘This baby has nothing to do with you, so you can stop concerning yourself about it.’
‘I don't believe you.’ Bo shook his head. She was trying to punish him; how could this not be his child?
‘Well, believe it; so you can rest easy. You’re not the father.’
‘Then who is, if it isn't me?’ he snapped. ‘You can’t tell me this isn't my child...’
‘It’s not.’ Carly stressed, looking him in the eye. If she was going to get Bo off her back once and for all she had to use all she’s got. ‘ There are other beds for the home wrecker and whore of Salem, Bo. You honestly  think because I enjoyed  sex with you; I won’ t seek out other sources of satisfaction and comfort the minute  you went back to Hope and pretended I never existed? You didn't want me anymore so I just went out and found something better; sex with no strings attached. I just didn't know it would come with an unexpected package that I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life!’ 
Bo couldn't believe what he was hearing; Carly saying such harsh, spiteful words. He also couldn't believe she would actually go to a bar or somewhere and pick up a stranger for meaningless sex; that was not what  his Carly would do in a million years- no matter how much she was hurting.

‘Who is he?’ he asked at last. ‘Who’s... who’s the guy?’
‘It’s none of your business nor anyone else’s for that matter. You went back to Hope and I found another man; so we’re even. You and your wife and your sanctimonious family can rest easy knowing the little bastard I’m carrying is not a Brady and  Victor I’m sure will have a field day knowing he was right about me after all.’ Breathing hard, she kept her eyes on him, wanting the words to sink in. ‘We’re even. Now you can go home knowing what a slut you narrowly escaped from; you’re no longer special to me. Get out and stay away from me from now on.’

Bo needed to get some air; the walls seemed to close in on him all of a sudden. He was shocked, stunned and he struggled to keep his rage intact. Carly...  carrying another man’s  child. Why wasn't he relieved? Where was the feeling of closure instead of anger and jealousy? Abruptly, he walked out of her office, out of the hospital and started the car with shaking fingers.
In her office, Carly waited for the feeling of triumph to come. Instead she buried her face in her hands, sobbing.