The song selected for the newlyweds’ first dance as man and wife was Ella Fitzgerald’s At Last. Darcy Jonas felt it was more than fitting as she watched her parents on the dance floor; her handsome papa’s eyes on his wife, his arm round her waist. She smiled at the matching look of love on her mother’s face. If there was a couple who deserved a life time together, it was those two.
Her husband slipped his arms round her from behind, pressing his cheek against hers. ‘Penny for your thoughts.’ He said.
‘I think everyone here are thinking the same thing, my love. How my parents are definitely meant to be together; even though they doubted so for a long time.’
‘Well, sweetheart; I bet they’ve never felt more pleased to be proven wrong. The way your grandmother and aunt put this beautiful wedding together shows how they feel about your parents now. They see how much Bo loves your mum and they wish them well. I’ve never seen a couple more in love.’
‘No kidding.’ Frankie said, his arm round J.J’s shoulders. ‘From the moment my sister ran into Bo years ago; it totally changed her life. Bo’s not the guy our parents would’ve allowed anywhere near her; like she would’ve given a damn what they thought. Their idea of marriage was a business merger and securing the bloodline; hence handing her over to Alamain.’
Daniel shook his head. ‘Poor Carly; trapped by Lawrence like that… and Bo losing her to him even when she got her memory back.’
‘Love is always bound to win in the end, Daniel.’ J.J said, in her thick Liverpool accent. ‘Those years they lost aren't relevant anymore. They’re even more in love and they got each other again, plus two beautiful kids.’ She smiled at Darcy. ‘It took a long time coming but they finally have everything they deserve.’
‘That they do,’ Frankie said softly.
Melanie and Nathan, Chelsea and Max and Nicholas and Lynn were watching them too. So was Shawn Douglas and Belle. Even if he didn’t feel embittered over his mother’s role in Carly and his sister’s illness, he knew the woman for his father was Carly Manning and his sentiment was without guilt. She brought out the best in his father and in some ways, out of him too. What he remembered most about Carly all those years without her, besides getting him out the well, was the painful time his father was held captive by Rafael Torres. They had taken care of each other, together prayed for his father’s safe return, he’d drawn strength from her. What stepmother would’ve done more than she did? He had loved Billie but she wasn’t Carly. And now, Carly and his father were finally together.
‘Even with the problems they had, it just makes their story more romantic, don’t you think?’ Melanie whispered to Nathan.
Nathan nodded in agreement. ‘This moment makes all worth it.’ He whispered back, his arm round her waist.
John and Marlena watched the couple indulgently; so did Ciara, her eyes shining with joy. Caroline, Kayla, Adrienne, Jennifer, Sami and Kimberly kept wiping their eyes; moved by the unspoken love between the princess and her sailor. On Nicholas’ part, he was very happy for his mother and glad that the family’s attitude towards her had completely changed. They’d also taken him under their wing and now that he was an older and wiser man instead of the spoilt brat he was years ago; he thoroughly appreciated it. The only person he still despised was Victor Kiriakis, he was never going to forgive his duplicity.
‘I want to be alone with you.’ Bo said softly, his arm tightening round Carly’s waist. ‘Let’s ditch this party first chance we get.’
‘We can’t.’ Carly whispered; trembling a bit at the heated look in her husband’s eyes.
‘First chance we get, princess.’ Bo insisted. ‘We did it on our Mayan wedding, remember?’
‘So… what do you say? After we cut the cake, we split.’
Carly nodded vigorously, needing no more convincing. She wanted the same thing.
To their surprise and delight, the cake was an exact replica of their beloved El Castillo. ‘Make sure you don’t get any on Carly’s face this time.’ John called out as Bo fed her a piece, drawing titters from the crowd.
The young couples, Brady, Frankie and Daniel raised their eyebrows inquiringly, looking at Darcy. ‘I have no idea what he’s talking about.’ She said, shrugging.
Chuckling, Roman explained to them. ‘Oh my goodness…’ Darcy giggled with the others; Shawn Douglas laughing out loud.
‘A little more than I needed to know, Roman.’ Nicholas winced, though he smiled at the tale.
Nathan leered at Melanie. ‘Maybe I’ll save that for our wedding.’
‘How about proposing first?’ Melanie fired back humorously.
‘Don’t twist my arm, lady.’
‘There look at that, I knew he wouldn't listen!’ Roman said, exasperated.
They turned to see Carly spotting a good amount of creamy frosting at the corner of her mouth and Bo wasted no time grabbing her and licking it off her before kissing her passionately amidst gasps and more laughter and applause.
‘Bo, you dog…’ Daniel laughed, his arms round his own laughing wife.
‘Now that’s hot.’ Max commented, dazed. ‘I swear those two could do each other right in front of everyone; right here, right now.’
‘Not something I really want to visualise, hon.’ Chelsea poked him.
Shawn Douglas grinned, remembered New Year’s day 1992 when he’d walked in on them heavily making out; funny enough he was far more intent at the time to get the first picture of the year to care about their privacy. He decided to tell Darcy, Nicholas and Chelsea about it much later; they will get a kick out of it.
Caroline led the toast; saying she was very happy for her son and new daughter-in-law and prayed the happy moment would never fade and many more moments like this one will follow. Marcus made a speech as well; so did Jennifer, Frankie, Nicholas, Shawn Douglas and then Darcy. ‘There’s a time in our lives when we resign ourselves to fate,’ she said, her glass of champagne in her hand. ‘But it suddenly turns out that fate has a greater thing in store for us. My parents have been together, apart and then now together. I wish them many years of happiness, love and many more.’ She raised her glass, smiling at them. ‘I love you both so much.’ Touched, Bo hugged her hard; Carly as well.
‘Come on…’ Bo hissed as everyone took to the dance floor again.
‘At least let me hug the baby before we leave.’ Carly whispered.
Bo’s hand tightened round her arm. ‘Now. We’ll say goodbye to him and the kids tomorrow.’
‘Okay, okay…’ Carly whispered.
Bo skillfully led her out by a side door. Carly’s eyes widened when she saw their prepared transportation. ‘I don’t believe it… you still have this old thing?’
‘Thank Shawn D for that, I had him fix it up days ago. Now come on.’
Carly gathered up her skirt and train and obediently hopped aboard behind him, wrapping her arms round his waist. ‘Caroline and Kayla won’t approve of this at all.’ she said as he started the engine.
‘I know. That’s why I picked it.’
Carly giggled, already imagining what a sight they would look; racing across town on an old Harley in their wedding finery. Strangers would think they were completely nuts.
They rode off, unobserved.
‘Well… here we are; at last.’ Bo said as he carried Carly over the threshold of the Salem Inn’s penthouse suite; the venue of their botched romantic evening so long ago. Their luggage was sent in advance so they were set to leave for Cancun in the morning. Throughout the reception where they had their first dance as a married couple, cut the cake and listened to the heartfelt speeches, the central thought in their minds was slipping away and be alone. And the whole time, they were unable to keep their eyes off each other; exchanging burning looks and feeling they’d never loved the other more. Bo felt it especially since he’d come that close at losing Carly forever; not only if she’d died of the virus but if she had refused to forgive him and took their son to England with her. He had fought long and hard to win her trust and now Carly was finally his wife- the fight for love truly won. And she looked especially beautiful today, the quintessential princess he always regarded her as.
As for Carly, she couldn't stop marveling at how months ago she’d completely given up on Bo; determined to go to England after their baby was born and move on with her life. Would she have been happy there? To some extent she might have been, since she had Byron to raise and Nicholas and Lynn nearby but she’d learned long ago that the most exotic and renowned places in the world could never replace Salem in her heart. And no man could ever mean as much as her sailor man meant to her, nor come as close. Bo Brady was her soul mate, the love of her life and finally, her husband. She will never be apart from him again.
The suite was decorated with white flowers and there was bottle of champagne in the ice bucket, caviar, blinis and a basket of exotic fruit and chocolates; everything arranged by Caroline and Kayla.
Settling on the couch, Bo placed Carly on his lap; her arms round his neck. He touched her face, love for her burning deep as his fingers traced her eyebrows then her lower lip. ‘I love you, princess.’ He said softly, his tone emotional.
‘I love you too.’ Carly whispered back as he took her left hand to his mouth and kissed the rings he’d proudly slid on her finger. For several minutes, they kissed and caressed each other; desire at its peak.
‘I want you to promise me something.’ He said, pulling away a bit to look deeply in her eyes; holding her face between his palms.
‘I don’t want you to ever think you’re second place to Hope; or about the months we were apart. What matters is this moment and the future ahead of us.’
Carly nodded. ‘I promise.’ She touched his face, looking at him intently before taking his left hand, tracing his wedding ring and the black jade ring on his middle finger.
‘You told me something the day I gave you this.’ She said quietly. ‘Something about it being your return journey.’
‘It’s sort of a return journey for me too. Years ago, we loved each other very much but I made my own mistakes too. I kept secrets when I should’ve confided in you and I allowed too much care and sentiment about being a good mother to Nicholas come between us, even before Vivian drugged me. But with this second chance we have…’ squeezing his hand, ‘no more secrets, no more misunderstandings to ruin what we have. Even when we disagree…’
‘We’ll never fight.’
Carly smiled, shaking her head. ‘Along the line we will, now and then. But I know we’ll always amend it… in the right ways.’
Bo kissed her again, hugging her tightly. Opening the bottle of champagne, he poured them each a glass.
In silence, they entered the bedroom, hand in hand. Carly took off the tiara, placing it on the dressing table. They exchanged another penetrating, heated kiss as Carly took his jacket off and pulled off his tie, swiftly unbuttoning his shirt. Staring at him rather shyly, she turned her back to him. Bo slowly unfastened her dress, bending his head to kiss her shoulders, down her exposed back before moving up to the side of her neck then unloosened her hair. Sighing and trembling at his touch, she turned and they sensually kissed again. Wanting Carly to regain her strength after her ordeal, Bo had decided not to make love to her until their wedding night; a resolve he’d found very hard to keep but managed to. It took all his will not to rip the damn dress off her, knowing she wanted this moment to be absolutely perfect.
‘I’ll be right back.’ She whispered. Bo nodded.
Walking across the room, she picked up the shopping bag she’d especially instructed Kayla to place beside her suitcase.
In the bathroom, she took off her wedding dress, had a quick wash and then slipped into the expensive French lingerie she’d bought for herself. White was virginal, which she wasn’t, but it was the colour Bo had always preferred her in. Thigh length and made of sheer lace; it had thin straps and fastened at the front. Carly applied a little perfume, brushed her hair and slipped on a matching robe, leaving it open.
She opened the door. Bo had dimmed the lights, lit a few scented candles and switched on the air conditioner. He was waiting for her, now dressed in a black robe. His eyes hungrily swept over his beautiful wife, then he went to her; pulling her against him. Carly returned his passionate kiss, trembling as his lips went down her neck to her breasts. Bo slipped the robe off her and then slowly tugged the ribbon holding the nightie together. It came off too and was discarded. At the same time, Carly untied Bo’s robe and ran her mouth and hands over his chest, feeling him hard against her thigh. Raising her head, Bo planted kisses over her face, whispering how much he loved her and how beautiful she was and Carly held on to him, glorying in his sheer masculinity as she whispered she loved him too; responding to his fierce kisses and caresses.
He lifted her in his arms, carrying her to the bed and placed her on the satin sheets. Her arms reached out for him as he moved onto her. He devoured her mouth yet again, her neck, stroked and kissed her breasts; his large hands moving over her soft skin; as always taking his time. Carly arched under his body, aching to be joined with him; wanting him inside her.
Bo wanted her, very badly. But he wanted to savor the moment; give her excruciating pleasure before giving in to it himself. So, moving down her body, he stroked her intimately and she gasped. ‘Bo, Bo… please, I want you so much. Please…’ she pleaded.
Unable to hold back any longer, Bo entered her hard, gripping her body and her legs went round him. Passion enveloping them, they moved in rhythm, their lovemaking punctuated by kisses; crying out each other’s name, gripping each other into a tight, desperate embrace as they hit the pinnacle together, hands entwined on the pillow.
‘Are you okay?’ Daniel asked, seeing the pensive look on Darcy’s face as she put down her purse and loosened her long black hair.
‘I’m fine.’ Was the quiet reply.
‘Come here.’ Daniel stretched his hand to her, taking hers when she reached him, pulling her close. ‘I saw you talking to Marcus at the party. It’s about what I told you, isn’t it?’
She sighed, nodding.
‘We’ve been through this, sweetheart.’
‘I know, I know. Marcus said the same thing, it being a possibility and not completely impossible. Yet knowing that the chances are slim…’ Darcy looked at Daniel, her brown eyes sad. ‘I want to be able carry your child, cher. I look at Byron and that desire’s stronger.’
Daniel rubbed her lower lip with his thumb. ‘We’ll keep trying. Carly got her miracle, so will we. And if… and I mean if… it doesn’t happen for us, we’ll adopt at least two. And I’ll still love you just as much as I do now.’
Darcy smiled faintly, kissing him. ‘I love you too.’
Daniel held her tightly, a sudden glint in his eyes. ‘How about we start trying right now?’ he said huskily; pressing his forehead against hers.
‘I can’t say no to that.’ Darcy whispered back, wrapping her arms round his neck. Daniel kissed her fiercely, bending his head to kiss down her neck then back to her mouth; his hands working on the zipper of her dress. Darcy stepped out of it as it hit the floor, now clad in a thin lace slip; pulling off Daniel’s jacket and then his tie, unbuttoning his shirt. His mouth still on hers in a heated kiss, Daniel lifted her in his arms, carrying her to their bed. Taking off his shirt and the rest of his clothes, he moved onto his wife, her slim legs wrapping round him.
Daniel showed Darcy just how much he loved her as he slowly, yet sensually made love to her; whispered words of love coming from his mouth as he explored and caressed her body, becoming one with her. Under him, Darcy trembled as he took her with him in excruciating pleasure, her red nails across his back.
‘I love you, Daniel.’ She whispered as they lay spooned together long afterwards.
Her husband placed her hand on his chest, kissing between her eyes. ‘I love you too.’ He whispered back.
‘I told you we’ll come back here one day.’ Bo said as they stood on their “spot” in Cancun.
‘The most beautiful place on earth,’ Carly said softly. ‘And it hasn’t changed a bit.’
‘Just like you.’ Bo turned her in his arms.
‘And you,’ Carly put her arms round his neck.
Their honeymoon lasted three weeks. They had moonlight walks on the beach, made love on their “spot” under the stars and Bo taught Carly jet-skiing. Candle lit dinners, serenaded by mariachis playing their mandolins. On the final week of their holiday, they went to Chichén Itzá to visit El Castillo and their old friends, Professor Moore and Soledad; who were delirious with joy on seeing them again.
‘The most important thing, you guys found each other again.’ Hank said, after hearing their story.
Soledad nodded enthusiastically. ‘Your story would fill a book. And it is the greatest one I’ve ever heard of; complete with a happy ending.’
‘A long continuation, Soledad.’ Carly smiled at Bo, who smiled back; squeezing her left hand. ‘A very long and happy continuation.’
Four years later…
Bo and Carly burst out of the elevator as soon as the doors opened; Ciara hurrying after them while three year old Byron held on to Bo. The rest of the family were already there, waiting anxiously.
‘What’s the news?’ Bo demanded.
‘We don’t know anything yet.’ Melanie said, running her hand through her red hair; the wedding ring on her finger glinting in the light. She and Nathan were now married and parents to a son they’d named Thomas Michael after Dr. Horton and Mickey.
‘I’m sure Daniel will be out any minute from now.’ Caroline assured them.
‘When is the baby coming, papa?’ Byron asked, a very precocious child for a three year old.
Bo ruffled the little boy’s curly hair. ‘In a few minutes, buddy.’ Byron’s hair was now past his neck, something Caroline kept complaining about; a protest Bo and Carly kept ignoring.
Ciara, now a beautiful young girl of thirteen; looked at the operating room’s doors, wondering if her sister was in terrible pain. She and Daniel had tried adopting a baby but kept getting disappointed and placed on very long waiting lists. And then, miracles of miracles; Darcy had discovered she was pregnant at long last.
Carly rubbed her hands, closing her eyes briefly in prayer. What Darcy had longed for so long will be coming in a few minutes… she hoped they would both make it.
Finally, Daniel came out; his eyes damp with tears but smiling widely. Everyone scrambled up from their seats, waiting.
‘Well?’ Carly demanded.
‘Twins!’ Daniel yelled out. ‘A boy and girl!’
‘Oh my God!’ Carly hugged him.
Everyone cheered, exclaiming excitedly, talking at once. Bo shook hands with Daniel, hugging him tightly. ‘Congratulations, man.’
‘Darcy has two babies, Byron; two babies!’ Ciara squealed, twirling him round.
In the Recovery Room, a tired but smiling Darcy watched as everyone, one by one carried and admired the newest members of the family. The baby boy yawned, peering at his grandparents while the baby girl made soft baby noises. Although they both had black hair, they were fraternal twins; the boy had Daniel’s blue eyes while the girl had greenish hazel eyes.
‘They’re so beautiful.’ Caroline said, so enchanted by them.
‘They are, aren't they? Just like their mum here.’ Daniel kissed Darcy.
‘I want to thank everyone, for the encouragements and prayers; you were all there for me. Especially Maman and Papa… and Daniel of course.’ She squeezed his hand. ‘You kept telling me to believe I’ll get pregnant.’
Daniel stroked her hair.
‘What are their names? Ciara asked, dying to know. ‘Have you picked them?’
‘We’re going to name our son, Christopher; Kit for short.’ Daniel announced, smiling.
‘Christopher Aurelius Jonas.’ Darcy added.
Bo winced as everyone laughed. ‘I should’ve known you would tag my grandson with that name.’
Patting his shoulder consolingly, Carly asked, ‘and our baby girl?’
‘Eden.’ Darcy said softly. ‘Eden Catherine Jonas.’
‘That’s a great name, sis.’ Shawn Douglas enthused warmly. ‘Isn’t it, Nick?’
Nicholas nodded, gazing down at his niece and nephew. ‘Kit and Eden Jonas.’
Bo gazed at his grandchildren, blinking back tears. Turning to Carly, he kissed her hand. Years ago, in Isabella’s loft, they had sat on her couch and talked about what they hoped to have in the future. A lifetime together and four children, born of their love. Life didn’t turn out exactly like they’d planned and they’d nearly lost each other. Now they had a son who was growing beautifully and a daughter whose life was finally complete. Ciara, Shawn Douglas and Chelsea looking up to Carly; regarding her as a second mother to them and he and Nicholas sharing mutual respect and affection. And every day since the day they got married, he and Carly have been more in love with each other; sharing and giving. They were still living their return journey. A journey that will continue for the rest of their lives.