They fell asleep in each other’s arms, waking up just before dawn to make love again, this time slowly but not less thoroughly; their mouths and bodies locked in heated delight.
‘Good morning,’ Bo kissed her awake when the sun shone through the bedroom window. Carly’s eyes fluttered open and she gave him a drowsy smile as she slipped her arms round his neck. ‘Good morning, sailor.’ She murmured, her lips brushing against his. For a few minutes, they kissed deeply; deliriously happy to be back together again.
‘I love you,’ Bo murmured, brushing back strands of hair from her forehead.
‘I love you too,’ Carly stroked his cheek. ‘I’ve never been happier than I am right now.’
‘Then how about making me even happier. I proposed to you before now I’m asking again. I want you to be my wife, Carly Manning. As soon as possible.’
Carly smiled wider, running her hand over that beloved face. ‘I guess we’re both too old for a lengthy courtship, huh?’
‘I wouldn’t say we’re too old, not after what we did last night... and early this morning.’ Bo’s eyes glinted at the memory of their scorching passion. ‘And you haven’t given me a straight answer, princess. Will you marry me?’ he asked.
‘Of course I’ll marry you, Bo Brady. I can’t imagine wanting anything more.’ Her radiant smile suddenly faded and Bo cupped her chin when she lowered her eyes. ‘Hey, hey… where did that smile go? What’s wrong?’
‘Sailor...’ Carly rubbed his arm, looking up at him. ‘Are we really going to make it this time?’
‘You still don’t trust me?’ he asked, a hurt look on his face.
‘No…no, it’s not that.’ Carly assured him immediately. ‘It’s just… I guess I just need to feel reassured fate won’t play another cruel joke. Whenever I’m happy, my happiness suddenly gets taken away from me. I don’t want to go through that all over again.’
‘It’s never going to happen again, princess.’ Bo assured her. ‘We have each other, we have Starr and we’re finally going to be happy. I understand what you mean but enough of the negative thoughts okay? We agreed to leave the past in the past. Fate brought you back in my life but I had to learn a few lessons myself before reaching this moment with you. I should’ve known the day you left the station that I’ll never be free of you. And I’m finally where I’m meant to be; with the woman I never stopped loving.’ He touched her face. ‘You believe me, don’t you?’
Carly was so overwhelmed by his words that she could only nod. Lowering his head, he kissed her passionately. Her arms moved up to encircle his neck and they began making love all over again, their bodies moving restlessly against each other’s, hands touching and caressing as they expressed their love.
After leaving the loft, Melanie picked up Starr from Caroline’s as Carly asked her to. Caroline was adoringly reluctant to let Starr go and very pleased to hear that Bo and Carly have finally made up.
‘Well,’ she grinned on seeing Carly in the kitchen making coffee, ‘someone had a wonderful night. ’
Blushing and smiling, Carly gave Melanie a reproving look before lifting Starr from her carrycot. ‘Hey sweetheart… did you have a great time at grandma’s?’
Melanie sat down on one of the wooden stools at the counter. ‘Nick bought drinks all round after you guys left, you left a crowd of people very happy for you.’
‘I’m very happy myself,’ Carly admitted as she sat down at the kitchen table, Starr gurgling in her arms.
‘So, where’s “Romeo”?’
‘He went home to change, but he’ll be back later. We’re spending the day together, dinner afterwards. Which means…’
‘I know, I’ll make myself scarce; don’t worry about it.’ Melanie grinned. ‘So, aside from what obviously went on last night, what else happened?’
‘Well, before he left, Bo asked me to marry him.’
‘Sweet!’ Melanie clapped her hands, rising to kiss Carly on the cheek, hugging her. ‘Congratulations… have you fixed a date?’
‘No, not really. But it probably will be soon; there’s the marriage licence to get for starters. I guess Bo will want us to have a quick simple wedding at City Hall. Maybe E.J can officiate if Bo doesn’t mind.’
Melanie frowned. ‘But Mum, you and Bo deserve more than a “quick do” at City Hall. All that time apart, you deserve a real memorable wedding.’
Carly looked thoughtful. ‘I guess. But still, we don’t want to make a huge fuss…’
‘Oh come on, Mum!’ Melanie objected. ‘If you had to choose, what sort of wedding would you like to have?’
Carly thought for a few seconds. ‘I would like to have a real traditional Mayan ceremony at Chichén Itza; in Mexico.’ She smiled nostalgically. ‘It’s kind of a long story but Bo and I had a Mayan wedding ceremony at the very top of that pyramid, El Castillo. I was still legally married to Victor at the time unfortunately but Bo said we could still make vows and pledge our love to each other. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. Since it was symbolic, it wasn't valid. But it was really beautiful.’ She sighed. ‘But even if Bo would go for it, we can’t. No one’s allowed up there anymore, the stairs got too steep for tourists to climb. But I would really love to be married there again, with friends and family to witness us take our vows.’
Melanie of course couldn’t tell Carly about her journey with Isabella; her favourite part in Carly and Bo’s past being that Mayan wedding. Maybe it was symbolic but she’d never seen a greater love being expressed by any couple. And how Carly looked enchanting in that traditional Mayan huipil and the simple flowers in her hair.
She deserves to have that wedding, she thought determinedly. I’m going to make sure of it, with a little help and a serious talk with Bo.
Starr tucked in her crib for the night; Carly went downstairs to the living room where Bo had dinner set out on a picnic blanket covering Carly’s carpet; Chinese food, peach cobbler from Caroline and a bottle of wine. What they’d always preferred, having dinner in front of the fire at home rather getting dressed and going to a fancy restaurant, although they also did that back in the day and a few times after her return.
‘This cobbler’s delicious, I have to ask Caroline to show me how to make one of these,’ Carly said, stabbing the piece on her plate with a fork and taking another bite.
‘You’re sure you’re up to that?’ Bo teased. During their days on the boat and when she lived with him at his house, Carly did her best but was still a disaster in the kitchen, no fault of hers- given her privileged background of servants and old money.
Carly raised her chin. ‘You wait and see; I’ll be like Julia Child yet and really surprise you with my new found culinary skills.’
Bo chuckled, putting his plate aside. ‘Come over here, Julia,’ he said, hand outstretched. Curious, Carly put down her plate and took his hand. He drew her closer to him. ‘I’ve got something for you,’ he removed a pink velvet box from his pocket and gave it to her. Trembling with happy anticipation, she opened it. ‘Oh my…’ she whispered at the sight of the exquisite antique ring. A round one carat
diamond with three smaller ones on either side and set in platinum.
|Carly's ring (kalmarantiques.com)|
‘It belonged to my Nana,’ Bo explained. ‘I wanted to buy you a ring but Mum insisted she wanted you to have this one.’
‘But Bo, this is an heirloom, I can’t possibly accept it.’
‘She wants you to have it, princess and to be honest, so do I. It not only expresses my love for you but by accepting and wearing this ring,’ he stroked her hair, ‘you’re returning to the family and taking your rightful place.’ Which was what Caroline wanted Carly to realise.
Carly was deeply touched. ‘That’s so sweet. I love it,’ she sniffled, kissing him on the mouth. ‘And I love you.’
‘I love you too, princess.’ he replied, kissing her back. Pulling the ring out of the box, he took her hand and slipped it on her finger.
It was a perfect fit, which to Carly was a very good omen. And when Melanie saw it the next morning, she proclaimed it, “the most fabulous ring in the world.”
‘Oh there’s nothing to thank me for, dear.’ Caroline hugged Carly after Carly expressed her gratitude. ‘You more than deserve this ring. I know that you and Bo are going to be very happy from now on. Just like we’re all happy to have you back among us.’
‘I’m very happy too,’ Carly replied. ‘But Caroline, I don’t know if Bo ever told you… what went on at the boat that last day…’
‘He finally told me, when I gave him the ring to give to you. I realised what I should have known long ago, you were a victim of circumstances. What Lawrence and Vivian did to you both was unforgivable; at least we’ll never be bothered by them. I’d just like to see Vivian dare set foot in this town again. Don’t think of that time, Carly; it’s all behind you. You have your future ahead of you now.’ She soothed, hugging Carly again. ‘Now, when is the wedding and what sort do you hope to have?’
Carly mentioned the possibility of a civil wedding at City Hall and Caroline voiced her disapproval of it. ‘What’s wrong having it in church? Technically Bo’s not a divorced man; you both will be allowed to have a proper church ceremony.’
Carly hid a smile, wondering what her future mother-in-law would say if she knew the type of wedding she really wanted. So far, Bo didn’t know about it and she didn’t want to tell him so he would go through a lot of trouble making her dream a reality. The civil wedding was good enough for them, they could have a small reception at the house and their honeymoon destination was of course Cancun; they’d mutually agreed on that one at least. She couldn’t wait to see it again, the place where she and Bo really lived their love.
‘Hatching another plan, ladies?’ Nicholas joked, finding his girlfriend and sister chatting animatedly in the living room. The Alamain mansion looked a lot better than it was during Lawrence’s time after its face lift; no longer gloomy and austere instead now more homey and pleasant.
‘In a matter of speaking. You’re just the man we’ve been waiting for.’ Melanie said.
Abby waved him over. ‘You need to be a part of this, honey. Come sit.’
Curious, yet amused, Nicholas moved to sit next to Abby. ‘I’m all ears.’
Days later, after Bo moved his things in and Melanie moved to the loft, the girls and Nicholas showed up, a large white cardboard box in his hands.
‘An early wedding present for you, Mum, from me.’ Melanie said, taking it from her brother and handed it to Carly.
Carly looked at them suspiciously, they looked as though ready to burst. ‘What’s going on?’ she asked.
‘You’ll see in time, just open it Carly, please!’ Abby begged, clapping her hands excitedly.
‘Go on, Mum.’ Nicholas urged.
‘Okay…’ Settling down on the couch, Carly tore off the cellophane and opened the box. Something was wrapped in tissue and she brought it, unfolding it. ‘No…. way…’ she gasped. It was a Mayan wedding huipil, beautifully embroidered and made of cotton and lace. ‘ Mel, where did you get this?’
‘It’s amazing the things you can buy online,’ Nicholas grinned. ‘Melanie found it on eBay.’
‘It’s beautiful!’ Carly held it against her chest, it was floor length and some people might regard it as bohemian but she loved it very much. ‘This is really exquisite, thank you!’
‘There’s more.’ Abby beamed. ‘Honey?’ she said turning to Nicholas.
‘Melanie told us about your dream of getting married at Chichén Itza and wondered if there was something that could be arranged.’ Nicholas explained.
‘Oh you really don’t have to do anything!’ Carly protested.
‘No, no… it’s already been done; hear us out.’ Nicholas continued. ‘I made some calls and you and Bo will be able to have your wedding- an authentic and binding traditional Mayan wedding- at the foot of El Castillo. Plus, a two week stay at the honeymoon suite at the Hotel El Corazon in Cancun. And one more thing, it’s my wedding gift to you both so it’s all on me.’
‘I can’t believe this!’ Carly could barely let out her words of astonishment and delight. ‘Is this for real?’
‘It is!’ Melanie put her arms round Carly’s shoulders. ‘You deserve to have the wedding of your dreams.’
‘Oh my,’ Carly was still trying to digest this wonderful surprise. ‘But what about Bo? I have to discuss this with him first.’
‘Discuss what?’ Bo asked from the foyer as he closed the door behind him. Hastily, Melanie snatched the dress from Carly.
Bo entered the living room, smiling on seeing Melanie and Abby hastily hiding the dress from view. ‘I take it that’s your wedding dress, princess?’
Carly raised an eyebrow in askance. ‘You knew about this?’
‘Are you kidding? These two spent half an hour gabbing…’ Melanie and Abby bristled indignantly while Nicholas chuckled, ‘and stating their case over why you should have your dream wedding, not realising it I already agreed with them within five minutes.’
‘Oh, you…!’ Melanie flew at him in mock anger and he dodged, laughing.
‘So, you approve?’ Carly asked.
‘What’s not to approve?’ Bo put his arms round her. ‘We pledged our love there years ago, why shouldn’t we go back to the very place that meant so much to us? Getting married to you there will be great,’ he stroked her hair,’ more than great and I’m aching to see Chichén Itza again.’ Carly grinned happily; pleased to see they were on the same wavelength.
‘It’s beyond generous, Nicky,’ Bo shook his soon to be step-son’s hand after Nicholas explained he was paying for their wedding and honeymoon. ‘But you really shouldn’t have.’
‘It’s not only for Mum, it’s for you Bo. You two should’ve been married years ago, it was more than obvious you belonged with each other but I was a stupid, arrogant little boy who didn’t know better and my father and aunt’s influence didn’t help.’ A flash of bitterness spread across Nicholas’ face. ‘And I failed Mum in so many ways, refusing to admit she was better off with you and my father was a bastard to have won her through his selfish manipulations. Please do me the honour of accepting my gift, Bo. It’s my way of making up for being such brat years ago and also…’ he hesitated, ‘I was hoping if, well Melanie and I hoped…’ He turned to his half- sister who suddenly looked shy as they both moved closer to Bo and Carly, their eyes on Bo’s face.
‘Bo, if I had you as a father figure, you would’ve been a stronger and better influence to me than Lawrence Alamain, because you’ve always been a loving and caring man. ’ Nicholas went on. ‘I’m lucky to have the love of a good woman and I would count myself lucky if I had you for a father, like Shawn D is.’
‘Bo, I love you as much as I love Daniel and not just for Mum’s sake. I love you because you’re you; you’re protective of the people you love, you made your mistakes but overall, you’re selfless. And if it wasn’t for fate’s cruelty, I would be a Brady today. So as far as I’m concerned I’ve got two Dads, if you can regard me as your daughter from now on.’ Melanie said, her voice breaking with emotion.
Nicholas’ face wore a solemn expression but his green eyes were emotional. ‘And I would be beyond honoured if you can regard me as your son,’ he said.
Without a word, Bo let go of Carly and drew Melanie into his arms, hugging the sobbing girl. Walking up to him, Nicholas received a hug as well, which he returned without hesitation. Hand pressed against her chest, Abby watched the touching scene before her with tears filling her eyes, resting her head against Carly’s shoulder when she put her arm round her.
‘Carly Marie Manning, where the hell are you?’ Bo demanded out loud. A week to their wedding date, they arrived at Chichén Itza and went straight to the home of their old friends, Professor Hank Moore and his wife Soledad, who couldn’t believe their eyes on seeing them at their doorstep, delighted and thrilled to see them again and very pleased to meet Melanie, Nicholas, Brady and Abby. They’d talked the night away and Bo had woken up the next morning to find Carly gone. Expecting to find her at the Moore house, with Soledad, he was surprised to find she wasn’t there. Cruz, Hank and Soledad’s only son, suggested she was probably strolled off to the Mayan court.
Ah… the Mayan court… where he first proposed to her so long ago. Nostalgia gave way to worry when he got there and there was still no sign of her.
‘Carly!’ he called again, really exasperated now. ‘So help me when I find you, I’m going to…’
‘What… spank me?’ Carly called from several yards afar, grinning unrepentantly at him.
Bo glowered at her. ‘I suppose you think it’s funny making me come looking for you. You have any idea how worried I was?’
Carly chuckled, which infuriated him more.
Bo suddenly realised her ploy and he began to laugh. ‘I get it… a little trip down memory lane, right?’
‘So glad you caught on quick, I was wondering how long you were going to stay mad at me.’
‘Like I can stay mad at you, princess.’ He held out a hand to her and she ran across the court, hair swinging and face alight; almost knocking him over when she flung herself at him.
‘Hey… hey… easy, I’m an old man!’ he joked, holding her tightly, lowering his head to kiss her, a kiss that expressed his deep love for her without words, feeling his princess press against as she fervently kissed him back.
‘It feels just like yesterday, doesn’t it?’ Carly asked as he pushed back hair strands from her flushed face.
‘It sure does,’ keeping his arm round her shoulders, Bo looked around the magnificent ancient site, a few tourists about. ‘I never imagined I’d ever see El Castillo again,’ he added, his glance stopping at the looming old pyramid.
Carly realised Bo never returned to Chichén Itza after they went their separate ways years ago, not that she didn’t understand. It would’ve been sacrilege if she’d come back here with Lawrence. ‘Nor me.’ She agreed.
Bo pressed his cheek against hers. ‘Maybe our wedding here years ago was just symbolic but according to the professor, a man and a woman become spiritual partners and become a part of the cosmos; the bond never breaking until one of the two dies. That’s why we found each other after so many years, when we least expected.’
‘I never begrudged your life after me.’ Carly turned to him. ‘I’d long accepted my fate so when I came back to Salem, I kept reminding myself I was there to find my little girl and pick up the pieces of my life.’
Bo touched her face. ‘I would’ve gotten you away from him if you’d called me, you know that.’
‘I know but I couldn’t let you risk your life. Lawrence hoped you would come for me; I think he tortured me the more so I would break and get in touch with you somehow. I couldn’t let that happen… not to you.’
Bo hugged her tightly, pressing a kiss on top of her head. ‘We promised not to talk about the past, remember? We’re getting married in a week and there’s a few things left to do. First off, in the spirit of re-enactment…’ taking her hand, he took off her engagement ring. Then he knelt in front of her, her hand clasped in his.
‘Carly Manning,’ he said smiling up at her. ‘We’re older and I hope to God wiser…’
‘On a very sad day years ago, we went our separate ways. Then you came back into my life the same way you first came into it, a period when things weren’t going well for me. I fell in love with you all over again but then forced you to make a very painful decision afterwards. But fate was kinder to us this time. We found each other again and we’re much more aware of where we belong, with each other. And we have a very special gift, a beautiful little girl born from our love. From now on princess, you’ve got all of me. I love you very much and you’ll be doing me a great honour if you’ll have me as your husband.’
‘I love you too,’ Carly smiled down at him. ‘I want to marry you, more than anything.’
Bo kissed her hand, sliding the ring back on; kissing her again on rising to his feet.
‘Now let’s head back and get some breakfast before Mel and the others go berserk and send a search party.’
Nicholas had rented a large villa nearby, to accommodate the several guests he was flying in from Salem on the Alamain jet and where the reception was going to take place. Melanie and Abby were already in love with Chichén Itza, wishing with all their might people were still allowed to climb up to the top of the pyramid. Brady sternly told Melanie there was no way he would let her go up there even if it was possible.
The wedding planner Nicholas hired, Maria Martinez, went over the plans with Bo and Carly. The food met their approval and aside from champagne, Xtabentún was also included. Temporary maids and a handyman waited on them at the villa and were also helping with the decorations.
Bo and Carly also spoke with the Shaman who was going to perform the ceremony; both in English and Mayan. Caroline had voiced her disapproval when she was told what sort of wedding it was going to be; only grudgingly mellowing after she was assured the ceremony was completely legal. And in accordance to Mayan tradition, the bride and groom where to undergo a ritualistic cleansing a few days before the wedding. ‘Separately,’ Carly emphasized, seeing the predatory glint in Bo’s eyes.
The family arrived from Cancun, Ciara running straight to Bo’s arms; giving Carly a warm hug too. As Melanie and Abby were her bridesmaids, Ciara was the ring bearer.
‘It’s so good to be back here!’ Marlena exclaimed.
‘Hasn’t changed, much.’ John added, nostalgia hitting him as it was here Isabella had told him she was pregnant with Brady.
Shane and Kimberly had come along too and Carly got an even more pleasant surprise. ‘Marcus! Marcus, is that you?’ she exclaimed rushing into his outstretched arms.
‘You’re sure a sight for sore eyes, Manning.’ Her old colleague kissed her on both cheeks. ‘Hey hothead,’ he grinned, hugging Bo as well.
‘Where the hell did you spring from?’ Bo demanded, very pleased to see him too.
‘Thank a very determined young woman who tracked me down through her connections,’ he said with an amused look at Melanie. ‘She told me who she was and requested I do her a huge favour by attending your wedding.’
‘It’s not something we could afford to miss,’ Shane beamed.
‘No indeed, especially since a lot of us didn’t get to see the first one,’ Kimberly laughed.
Melanie delighted to see the happy look on Carly’s face on sighting her old friend, Marcus Hunter. Nicholas had helped locating him and after the introductions were made, liked him just as much as she liked him during her time travel with Isabella. Someday, she would tell Carly about it.
Shawn Douglas came with his wife Belle and Carly got to meet her and Shawn D’s little daughter, Claire; Carly causing Bo to chase her about after insistently calling him “Grandpa Bo.” Kayla, Daniel and Jennifer were among the guests who came, Molly, Tanner, Adrienne, Maxine (at Carly’s special invitation) and her obstetrician, Karen Long.
Maggie was also invited and although she warmly hugged Carly, telling her how happy she was for them, Carly noticed she looked rather pensive.
‘Aunt Maggie’s filed for a divorce.’ Jennifer explained after Carly asked her about it.
‘“Oh no”, nothing. She’s better off without Victor and to be honest, she should never have married him. It’s no point hanging on to a marriage where the husband just can’t get rid of his flaws. Maggie just couldn’t ignore them anymore.’
Carly couldn’t pretend to be sorry about it, if there was a man who deserved Maggie Horton, Victor Kiriakis definitely wasn’t him.
‘By the way,’ Jennifer added, ‘I’ve got a gift for you.’
‘Oh… that’s so sweet.’ Carly took the wrapped box.
‘It’s not from me,’ Jennifer said. ‘It’s from Hope.’
Carly was startled. ‘Hope? Why would she send me a wedding gift?’
‘It’s her way of asking you for a truce. She told me to make sure you get it. Open it, let’s see what it is.’
Carly was touched by Hope’s gift, vintage handkerchiefs with delicate handmade lace. Guilt was a strong thing but Hope obviously wanted to make peace and this was a thoughtful gesture from her. Carly wasn’t sure if they’ll ever be close friends but at least they won’t be any animosity between them from now on.
It was a perfect day for a wedding. The sky was blue and the weather was reasonably cool which was lucky as Chichén Itza was known for its hot weather. The banquet was ready and more than enough to feed the guests, the three tired cake taking centre stage on a flower bedecked table.
Soledad Moore skilfully wove colourful flowers in Carly’s hair while Melanie made up her face.
‘You look beautiful, Carly. That dress really becomes you.’
‘Thank you, Soledad.’ Carly smiled at her, running a hand over her wedding dress.
Melanie and Abby were also in white native
costumes, lilies in their hair and no jewellery except dangling earrings. Carly
however was wearing a jade and gold necklace and matching earrings- Bo’s wedding
gift to her and on her right wrist, a pearl bracelet, a gift from Abby. Aside
from the wedding party, all the guests were required to wear white, according to
|Carly's dress (www.ebay.com)|
‘Excuse me,’ Soledad quietly withdrew.
Carly got up to pace, her hands shaking with anticipation. ‘I’m so nervous, after all this time; it still feels like a dream.’
‘It’s perfectly natural Carly, after everything you’ve been through but you’re about to embrace your future, your happy ending.’ Abby soothed.
Carly halted. ‘Yes that’s true. I’m so glad you’re both here to celebrate it with me.’ She took Abby’s hand and then Melanie’s. ‘I love you both. You did a lot for me and I can never thank you enough. Abby, I’m especially grateful to you. Melanie told me it was your idea to send for Bo in the first place. I’ll never forget that. And I hope in time, we’ll get to celebrate your wedding with Nicholas.’
‘Thank you.’ Abby beamed.
‘Group hug?’ Melanie proposed.
‘Oh absolutely.’ Carly enveloped the girls in her arms.
‘Carly?’ Frankie knocked on the door and poked his head in. ‘You set?’
‘Yes Frankie,’ Carly picked up her bouquet of tuberoses. ‘Oh where’s Ciara?’
Ciara ran in as she spoke, also in white, a white ribbon decorating her hair. ‘You look great!’ she gasped, eyes widening.
‘Thank you sweetie,’ Carly leaned down a bit to kiss her.
‘Here’s the rings and for heaven sake, don’t drop them for any reason.’ Melanie warned.
Ciara pouted, her hands holding the folded lace cloth where the platinum wedding bands were. ‘I won’t, I’m not a baby.’ She said indignantly.
‘Okay guys, while we’re young.’ Frankie said briskly. As the bridesmaids and Ciara walked out of the room, Frankie took his sister’s arm. ‘Ready?’ he asked, knowing the answer.
‘More than ready.’
At the altar, at the foot of the majestic El Castillo, surrounded by friends and family, Bo Brady and Carly Manning at last took their marital vows. The Mayan priests blew on the sacred conch shells and even Caroline couldn’t help being fascinated by the solemn ceremony. For Rafe, who was of Spanish descent, it was a spectacular sight to behold.
‘Bo, is it your complete will to be here today, to join your life to Carly’s; your thoughts and heart complete?’
|Bo's outfit (www.guayaberascubanas.com)|
Bo, handsome and dashing in his white shirt and pants looked at his beautiful bride, love for her running deep. ‘Yes.’
‘Carly, is it your complete will to be here today, to join your life to Bo’s, your thoughts and heart complete?’
The Shaman touched their foreheads. ‘You are the husband, you are the wife. Only death can bring you apart.’ After the exchange of rings, the Shaman joined their hands together, placed a rosary over them, securing it. ‘This is a sign of your commitment before the Great Lord.’
The priests recited some words in Spanish as the Shaman held up a small wooden receptacle. ‘This is the sacred drink, brother and sister; which I give to you in order to seal the signal they receive from your power. May it instill in your lives eternal bliss.’ He passed it to Bo who took a sip of Xtabentun liqueur before passing it to Carly.
‘The power of God be with you.’ Lightly sprinkling them with a bunch of wet leaves he continued, ‘May your future be a happy one and May the power of the Great Lord be with you always.’
As the conch shells were blown, Bo slipped his arms round his wife, kissing her deeply, amidst a round of applause and loud cheers. Some tourists, happening on the scene and allowed to stay, took photos with their phones and Ipads. After Bo and Carly signed the marriage register, their children enveloping them in warm, heartfelt hugs.
At the reception, Roman; Bo’s best man led the toast, wishing them a lifetime of happiness. After Bo and Carly had their first dance as Mr and Mrs Brady, Shawn Douglas danced with his stepmother, while Bo was grabbed by Melanie. While the cake was being cut by the couple John, Roman and Marlena in unison instructed Bo to behave himself and not do what he did last time. With a gleam of mischief in his eyes, Bo held the piece of cake in his hand, looking as though he would squash it on Carly’s carefully made up face. A stern warning look from her prevented him from doing so, so instead he fed it to her, planting a kiss on her mouth to a round of cheers.
Frankie hugged Bo tightly afterwards. ‘Congratulations bro.’ he said. He was now back in the fold, having forgiven Bo, Jennifer and the family at last.
‘Thanks, Frank. I’m going to make her and Starr very happy, I promise.’
‘I know you’ll keep it,’ Frankie nodded, smiling.
‘Shawn D, can we renew our vows with a ceremony like this?’ Belle asked hopefully, causing Shawn Douglas to laugh indulgently.
‘To be honest, I would love a wedding like this,’ Melanie said as she danced with Brady.
Brady gave her a playful look. ‘Are you proposing to me?’
Melanie’s arms tightened round his neck. ‘Maybe.’
‘Uh no… I’m the guy, I get to do that.’
‘No pressure or anything but when will that be?’ Melanie retorted.
Brady only smiled and pulled her closer.
Nicholas already had Abby’s ring in his suitcase in their room and planned on proposing to her that very night.
Kayla watched her brother and sister-in-law dancing, turning when Frankie tapped her shoulder and claimed a dance with her. Ciara sat with her grandmother who had Starr in her arms. Roman and John chatted with Hank Moore while Marlena and Soledad strolled about the villa’s courtyard, deep in conversation. Everyone agreed on the same thing, it was a wedding to remember.
Especially the bride and groom. While the festivities were still going on, Bo and Carly slipped away with their bags to the already booked boat which took them to Cancun, where they spent a blissful two weeks. The beginning of their new chapter.
We’re all set for tomorrow’s celebration. Starr’s cake is ready and everyone’s promised to come. She’s going to look so sweet in her dress and the diamante tiara Bo got for her. It’s hard to believe she’s already a year old, babies really grow up so fast.
I’m watching Bo right now playing with her and Ciara. The loving look on his face makes me feel so warm inside and I find myself loving him more. Now I know, really know the joy of having a husband who loves you and goes out of his way to show it. And Bo’s been doing that, every day since our wedding. Every morning when I wake up in his arms, I say to myself , ‘I’m so blessed.’