Dr. Marcus Hunter was tired from his journey but he briskly looked through Carly and Darcy’s charts after looking in on them; his heart clenching at how ill his old friend and former colleague looked.
‘It’s a harder strain alright.’ He muttered, reading the lab report. ‘Whoever did this wanted to make sure it would be harder to find the cure.’
‘Was it easy for Carly to find the cure for the original virus?’ asked Daniel.
Marcus shook his head. ‘Carly worked very hard in the lab to work on the cure, there were times she wouldn't go home until I made her to. She got to the lab one day and found the place ransacked; her notes, even her computer was cleaned out.’
‘You’re kidding! Who did that?’
‘We never found out. So Carly went to Victor to see if he could get the cure. Mind you, Bo forbade her to but she was desperate. To cut a long story short, the vial she got hold of contained the same composition of her stolen cure but it was missing a vital element, which she was about to discover before the lab got ransacked. She was running out of time but she found it at the last minute and gave it to Bo.’
Daniel shook his head, amazed. ‘Wow.’
‘Like you rightly surmised Daniel, the present cure now has to be modified. I just hope we’ve got time.’ Marcus said grimly.
‘I really appreciate you coming all this way, Marcus.’
‘I’ve always loved Carly like she was my sister. Still do, even though we lost touch. And I know how long she tried to have a baby with Bo so this is personal for me too. No need to thank me.’
Daniel turned as he heard a knock on the door. ‘Come in.’
Nathan entered. ‘Ah, good. Dr. Marcus Hunter; Dr. Nathan Horton. He’s going to be assisting us, if you don’t mind.’
Marcus shook the young man’s hand, staring hard at him. ‘Horton?’ he said, raising his eyebrows at the familiar last name.
‘Melissa Horton’s my mum.’ Nathan explained.
‘Ah, Maggie and Mickey’s daughter. Pleased to meet you, Nathan. I worked under your great-grandfather; he was a great man and a very good friend. He mentored a lot of doctors; including Carly and me. Glad to have you aboard.’
‘I’m willing to help in any way I can.’
‘Good.’ Marcus opened the case containing vials of Carly’s antidote. ‘Let’s get to work.’
With great reluctance, Bo and Roman let Chloe go but warned her not to leave town for the time being.
‘I already told you guys I didn’t do it.’ Chloe protested.
‘Maybe not.’ Roman said harshly. ‘But you admitted you came back here to ruin my niece’s marriage and you’re guilty of attempted murder. You have a motive, so consider yourself a suspect. Once again, don’t leave town or Parker will find himself handed over to Child Services.’
Chloe turned to Bo in appeal.
‘Get out of here Chloe before I hurt you.’ Bo said coldly, glaring at her; the image of her planning Carly’s death with Vivian vividly in his mind.
Chloe hastily obeyed.
‘Should we talk to Vivian then?’ Roman asked.
‘Much as I want to break that old bitch’s neck; we’ve got nothing on her. It’s her word against Chloe’s. How the hell did she even know about the elevator?’
‘She knows Carly’s claustrophobic after the trauma of being buried alive.’ Roman pointed out.
‘No… not that. Remember… Carly got trapped in a rigged elevator- at The Salem Inn. Where would Vivian get the idea to have Carly die in the elevator?’
‘I’m not Victor’s biggest fan but even he wouldn't boast about that incident to Vivian of all people. He had that elevator tampered with in the first place because he wanted to kill you.’
‘Roman, you saw how Victor acted towards Carly when she came back; he made it perfectly clear he hated her. Vivian stayed with him for a while, they had one thing in common- their hatred for Carly. He must have told her about that incident to her- without the part it was me who was supposed to be in that damn elevator, not Carly.’ Bo frowned, pacing. ‘If he told her… he was probably discussing ways of hurting Carly with her.’
‘She’s the mother of his granddaughter.’
‘And I’m his son, did that stop him from trying to kill me?’ Bo snapped. ‘Did that stop him from burning my boat or kidnapping Shane D as a warning? Victor’s capable of anything, including hurting me to hurt Carly.’
‘So you think he planted the virus in your car?’
‘What do you think?’ Bo challenged. ‘Vivian obviously found out about the elevator from Victor; she wasn’t here at the time. And she wasn’t here when I got sick- she got the story from him too! The only other person who would tell her is the person who poisoned me in the first place- Emmy- and she’s dead.’
Roman frowned and nodded. ‘You may be right.’ He rubbed his nose. ‘Years ago, Carly walked into a trap meant for you. Darcy was attacked in their house, nothing was taken…’ he raised his eyes to meet Bo’s. ‘And Victor got all chummy with Carly after the break-in.’
Bo was trembling with anger.
‘You’re both crazy!’ Victor snapped, enraged beyond measure. ‘I did no such thing! Why would I send anyone to break into Carly’s house to kill her or plant a virus to kill you?’
‘It wasn’t a robbery, Victor.’ Bo bit out. ‘Darcy got hurt and suddenly you’re protective of Carly. A few days to our wedding day, a bottle of water in my car is laced with a harder strain of the virus I once had. Let me remind you of your past crimes Victor; the elevator you hired someone to rig so I would be killed, the murder you faked so Carly would get the death penalty or life imprisonment. You did all that because you didn’t want us to be together! And that statement you said to her when she made it clear she was never going back to you; “you’ll be a widow before you ever walk down the aisle.” Remember that?’
‘That was a long time ago! I was very angry, I didn’t know what I was saying or doing at the time.’
‘Cut it out, Victor.’ Roman said, disgusted. ‘You convinced the judge you were insane to avoid a prison sentence. You’ve proven you’re capable of hurting your flesh and blood; only this time your granddaughter’s a victim of your actions.’
‘I’m not responsible for Carly and Darcy’s disease.’ Victor insisted.
‘Then explain why you changed your attitude towards Carly after Darcy got hurt. You know something about the break-in. The victim was supposed to be Carly, wasn’t it?’ Bo said, determined to get a confession. ‘Tell the truth, you old bastard!’
‘I will not be spoken to like that!’ Victor snarled.
‘You told Vivian about the elevator because you were thinking of ways of hurting Carly! You tell me what you’re hiding or you’ll never be allowed near my children again, make your choice!’ Bo shouted back.
Victor stared at Bo and then at Roman, whose face was as cold as his brother’s. He squared his shoulders. ‘Fine. Yes, I told Vivian about the elevator; in passing. But I never planned to kill Carly, I just wanted you to end your affair with her, that’s all.’
Bo folded his arms, waiting.
Sullenly, Victor told them about his conversation with Hope and how he had Carly’s house planted with cameras.
‘You bastard…!’ Roman swiftly grabbed his brother before he could throttle Victor.
‘I know you’re very angry with me right now Bo but I was only trying to protect your marriage.’ Victor said calmly. ‘Darcy’s attack was an accident, I promise you. And I didn’t plant that virus in your car.’
Bo was so very angry that he couldn't speak.
‘Victor, everything points to you right now.’ Roman said.
‘Until we prove otherwise; consider yourself a suspect. And as for the break-in...’
‘I made a mistake.’
‘You bet your ass you made a mistake.’ Bo found his tongue at last. ‘Your hired goon put his hands on my daughter; thanks to him, for over a month she couldn't see. Carly was pregnant with my son at the time, he could have pushed her down the stairs if she was the one who surprised him. And you stand there and try to convince me it was an accident? You’re a lying, conniving bastard and you make me sick.’ He turned to Roman. ‘Will you please do the honours?’
‘You’re under arrest, Victor. Hands behind your back now.’ Roman produced the handcuffs.
‘You can’t be serious.’
‘You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and may be held against you.’ Roman continued, firmly grabbing Victor’s arms. ‘You have the right to an attorney...’
‘Bo, don’t do this. I never meant for Darcy to get hurt; it wasn’t my intention to harm Carly.’ Victor said as Roman cuffed him.
Bo only stared at him, his eyes filled with hate.
‘Let’s go, Victor.’
Returning to the hospital, Bo looked in on the patients. Melanie was in Darcy’s room, patting her hot forehead with a wet flannel square. As he sat next to Carly, her eyes fluttered open and she looked up at Bo, managing to give a very faint smile.
‘You and Darcy going to be alright, princess.’ He said softly. ‘Marcus is here, he’s working at the cure as we speak.’
Carly blinked to show she understood.
‘Don’t give up on me now, okay?’ Bo grasped her hot hand between his. ‘I love you, I can’t bear the idea of you two leaving me.’
‘I…’ Carly swallowed then tried again. ‘I…’ she closed her eyes again, drifting back to sleep.
Bo leaned down to kiss her lightly on the mouth, blinking as the tears came. Please don’t let them die; please… he prayed silently.
‘Keep the faith, son.’
Bo spun round, his eyes widening at the sight before him. ‘P…Pop?’ he whispered incredulously at the ghost of Shawn Brady.
‘Aye.’ He replied, hands in the pockets of the suit jacket he was buried in. ‘You’ve been very strong so far, Bo. Keep believing little Darcy and the lass lying in this bed will come out this. Whatever you do, never break down.’
‘It’s just so hard seeing her and our little girl looking so helpless.’ Bo replied sadly, sniffling. ‘Especially Carly, after everything she went through; what I made her go through.’
‘Come on, son; she forgave you. And those months of separation just made you realise how strong your love for her actually is; stronger than you both realised. You being here with her now gives her a lot to live for. She can sense your presence even when she’s asleep and it gives her strength as she waits for the cure. So like I said, keep the faith.’
Bo nodded. ‘I will, Pop; I promise.’
‘That’s my boy.’ Shawn smiled broadly before fading into thin air.
‘No Pop, wait!’ Bo pleaded even though it was no use. He looked down at Carly, squeezing her hand. Keep the faith, for her and Darcy.
Marcus entered and Bo rose. ‘Hey man. You’re a sight for sore eyes.’ He said, hugging his old friend. Marcus was thinner, most of his hair gone and now wore glasses.
Marcus shrugged, smiling faintly. ‘You’ve aged pretty much yourself Bo Brady but you’re sure in better shape than me.’ He turned as Nathan entered the room.
‘We’re working on it; Daniel and young Nathan here.’ Marcus said, watching Nathan as he swabbed a spot on Carly’s arm and took a blood sample before leaving the room. ‘I’m sorry we had to meet again in these circumstances. Darcy’s very pretty by the way.’
Bo smiled faintly. ‘You should see our two month old Byron.’
‘You’ve got a baby boy too? My… you are a fast worker! I can’t wait to see him.’
‘Right now, he and Ciara are with Sami and her husband Rafe. I sure hope when this is all over you’ll stick around for our wedding.’
‘Try and stop me. It’s long overdue anyway.’ Marcus delicately didn’t mention Hope or her being in prison; she wasn’t important to him anyway.
The door opened again and Kayla entered, her eyes meeting Bo’s. Bo scowled at her.
‘Kayla!’ Marcus went over to hug her. Good to see you, how’ve you been?’
Kayla’s smile was tight and her face bright red. ‘Fine… it’s so good to see you too. I came by to check on Carly…’ she pulled away to walk over to Carly’s bedside. Staring down at Carly’s very pale face, she raised her eyes to look at her brother. ‘You’re still mad at me, aren't you?’
‘Oh, does that shock you, sis?’ Bo asked sarcastically.
‘Okay, what’s going on here?’ Marcus asked, astonished.
‘Kayla here has something to tell you. And unless she’s as completely heartless as I think she is, she will tell the story straight instead of her own version of it. I’m going to check on my daughter if you don’t mind.’ Bo took his leave. As he closed the door behind him, his cell rang. It was Roman.
‘Justin just bailed Victor out.’
‘We’re still going for malicious intent, right?’
‘Absolutely. Even if it turns out he’s not behind the virus; he’s the reason Darcy got attacked and I’m not letting him get away with that. Did he give the name of the man he sent over there to plant the cameras?’
‘No, he’s hell bent on keeping that to himself. But be warned, little brother. Victor’s wormed his way out of prison more times than we can count.’
‘Well this time, Victor’s got no leg to stand on and I think he made a major mistake this time.’
‘By telling us?’
‘No, by getting rid of the cameras. If you send officers to sweep our house; you probably won’t find the cameras there. So he can’t prove his man didn’t go there just to plant cameras to spy on Carly. So unless he gives us his goon’s name- he’s definitely going to prison either for malicious intent or attempted murder. When I think of how he acted all concerned when Darcy got hurt, I just want to bash his face in.’ Bo snarled.
‘Victor still insists he didn’t plant the virus in your car. He’s adamant on that.’
‘You believe him?’
‘After the lies? No way. Don’t worry, Bo. He’s going to pay.’
Bo hung up and entered Darcy’s room.
Kayla squirmed at the look of disgust on Marcus’ face. ‘When I think of the many ways Carly was there for your family; including you- I wish I was here at the time when Carly was going through all that to tell you and your family what I think of you.’ He said in a low, angry voice.
‘We’re not proud of it now, Marcus.’
‘What exactly was your excuse to begin with? To protect Hope? Did you actually believe this woman lying here had changed that much that you would treat her like that?’
‘I don’t want to hear what you have to say anymore. I know Carly Manning enough to know that she’s not the one who’s changed. It’s you and the rest of your family and frankly, I don’t like what I see. I’m very, very disappointed in you.’
‘Let me help you find the cure for Carly and Darcy; please.’ Kayla held on to his arm, tears pouring down her cheeks. ‘I want to be there for them; I want to help them get better. You’re right, we all did a bad thing. We were mean to her but we regret it, we regret it! Please Marcus, I want to make it up to them; Carly especially. Please let me help.’
‘I already have Daniel and young Nathan and I don’t think Daniel will be happy if I included you. You want to make it up to Carly and your niece? Figure it out yourself. Excuse me.’
Kayla wiped her tears then moved to sit next to Carly. ‘You’re going to be okay.’ She said softly, stroking Carly’s hair. ‘And I’ll be able to tell you how sorry I am. I’m really sorry, Carly… we all are.’ She touched Carly’s very hot cheek. ‘Hang on, okay? When you get better, we’ve got a wedding to plan all over again. Mum and I will plan a wonderful wedding for you and Bo. We’ll have a theme wedding if you like. That will be fun, won’t it?’
As she spoke, a wonderful plan came to mind.
‘Excuse me?’ Daniel said to the woman leaning over Darcy. ‘Visiting hours are over.’
‘She’s very beautiful, Daniel. Different from Carly but lovely.’ She turned and Daniel wondered if he was hallucinating as he stared at the ghost of Rebecca Jonas, his first wife.
‘Hello Daniel.’ She smiled, walking up to him. ‘It’s been quite a while.’
‘Oh… my God.’ Daniel couldn't believe it. ‘Becky… I… I can’t believe you’re really here.’
‘Yes. And I’m here because I sensed your worry over Darcy. While you’re helping Dr. Hunter with the cure, you’re afraid you may be too late to save her and Carly. Come on Daniel, where’s your sense of faith?’
‘I got it.’
‘No, you don’t. And you have to find it otherwise you might make a mistake. Your fear’s a distraction and you’ve got to get rid of it if you want Darcy and Carly to get better. You won’t be much use to Dr. Hunter if you keep nursing that fear at the back of your mind. You understand what I mean?’
Daniel swallowed, nodding. ‘But you should understand that fear, Becky. I thought I could save you; I thought I had time.’
‘My time was up.’ Rebecca said gently. ‘But you made the last few months of my life magic and wonderful. I loved you from the moment I saw you and treasure every single day I spent with you.’
‘I did too.’ Daniel whispered.
‘I’m glad you’re happy now. And Darcy’s going to be okay; Carly too. Let go of the fear, Daniel. Okay?’
‘Okay, I promise; I promise. Becky.’ Daniel replied hastily. ‘No more fear from now on.’
Rebecca smiled. ‘I believe you. Take care of her… and yourself.’
Daniel stared after her as she disappeared.
‘What’s the recent developments, Gus?’ Vivian asked over her cell.
‘Dr. Manning and Mrs. Jonas’ rooms are being guarded by police officers, Madame. No one except medical personnel and family members are allowed in. And it seems another doctor has been called in to help; I saw him talking with Dr. Jonas and Dr. Horton.’
‘Fat chance they have of curing those two. Who is he?’
‘I don’t know his last name, he’s tall and African American. I heard Dr. Jonas call him Marcus.’
‘Marcus Hunter.’ Vivian said slowly, remembering Carly’s handsome, rather overprotective colleague. Should she be worried? No… the virus was fatal, more or less incurable. But still, why was Marcus specifically chosen to look into the case?
‘Stay around a bit longer, Gus. Use your eyes and ears even harder and get back to me.’