Dr. Lexie Carver was already in a dilemma even before Justin Kiriakis brought up the subject. Like many people in Salem, she was suspicious of Carly but at the same time wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Carly was a widow eager to make a fresh start, which should be taken to account. But she was also Bo’s most significant ex; a woman he’d shared deep love and passion. Bo and Hope were currently estranged. It was a recipe for disaster.
‘You do realize what you’re asking me to do. If Bo finds out you’re even talking to me about this, he’ll never speak to either of us again.’
‘Would you prefer Carly coming between him and Hope for good? I’ve got a broad back where Bo is concerned- I’m doing this for Hope’s well-being. Don’t hire that woman, it will give her more than enough reason to stay in Salem permanently. Hope is your best friend, you have to think of her.’
‘Come on…’ Lexie protested. ‘It’s unethical! I’m on Hope’s side too but I can’t use that as an excuse to vote against hiring Carly. Like it or not, she has a history here; her record is impeccable. She headed the Trauma center, she started that Medi-Van programme…’
‘And now she’s back- just at the right time to move in on Bo.’ Justin interrupted harshly. ‘Hope’s gone through enough without worrying about another one of Bo’s exes threatening her marriage. I’m asking you again Lexie, put your foot down. Give the board anything excuse you can think of, just make sure she doesn’t get a job.’
Lexie wavered. Like Justin, Hope’s peace of mind was important to her but this request of his was wrong, very wrong. Bo would definitely never speak to her again and what would Carly herself think; that everybody was ganging up against her to protect Hope. Besides, Carly had no way of knowing that Bo and Hope were separated. Preventing a possible affair between Carly and Bo as an excuse to vote against her was a weak excuse; unethical and illegal.
‘Well?’ Justin demanded impatiently.
‘I can’t do it to Carly. Personal issues aside, you and I both know it would be illegal. She’s a great physician and since she’s grieving over Lawrence, it’s definitely what she needs; a job that will keep her mind off things.'
‘You can’t be serious.’
‘I am serious. What you’re asking me to do is illegal. It wouldn’t speak well of me if I agree to do what you ask and it definitely doesn’t speak well of you, Justin.’
‘Hope is my friend. I’m trying to protect her.
‘Carly was your friend too, and mine. And you telling me to vote against her isn’t the best way to keep her away from Bo… oh my God…’ she exclaimed, looking stricken.
Justin turned to see Carly staring at them, her face very pale.
‘Carly…’ Lexie said, walking towards her.
‘How could you?’ Carly whispered, her voice trembling with anger. ‘Lexie, how could you?’
‘No, no… it’s not what you think!’ Lexie begged, trying to placate her.
‘Is it too much to ask… a job and the benefit of the doubt, do you all hate me so much that you would deny me both?’ Carly asked, so angry that she could barely keep herself from slapping Lexie across the face. She glared at Justin who stared back at her impassively. ‘And you… nothing but a glorified messenger boy and a vicious snake, did Hope put you up to this? Or was it Victor?’
‘Carly, listen to me, please!’ Carly shook Lexie’s hands off her, green eyes filled with hurt and anger. ‘You can keep your vote. You both disgust me.’
‘Carly, wait…wait! You have to listen to me!’ From Carly’s angry tirade, it was obvious she only heard the tail end of their conversation and Lexie wanted to explain herself.
Justin prevented Lexie from going after Carly who made her way towards the elevator by grabbing her arm. ‘Let her go.’
Lexie pulled away from his grip. ‘Now look what you’ve done!’ she exclaimed furiously.
‘It’s best this way. And If she tells Bo, I will take full responsibility,’ Justin tried to sound casual but was inwardly kicking himself that Carly heard their conversation; he’d given her enough reason to sue him. And Bo will be out for his blood.
‘I will not be a part of this, Justin! If Hope is so threatened, then let her work her differences with Bo herself. Carly’s going to be hired and you will not interfere in matters that are none of your business again. At the board meeting, I will give her my full support and I’ll make her take this job. This discussion is over.’
Daniel Jonas came up to them at that point, his handsome face wearing a furious look. ‘I just ran into Carly downstairs. How dare you ask Lexie to vote against her! Lexie, how could you do this to her? She lost her husband and just wants to start again and you gang up on her like this?’
‘Daniel, please… it’s all a big misunderstanding.’
‘Actually it was…’
‘Shut up, Justin.’ Lexie completely lost her temper, something she rarely did. ‘And will you please get out of here right now. You’ve caused enough trouble.’
‘I hope Carly sues you for libel, you son of a bitch!’ Daniel snarled at his retreating back, really angry at the plot against his old friend. Carly was so upset that she refused to have lunch with him and Chloe; wanting to be by herself. ‘And what do you have to say for yourself, huh?’
Doggedly, Lexie explained what really happened , assuring him she’d refused Justin’s suggestion. ‘It’s the truth, I swear. I would never do that to her.’
‘Even though you think she’s a threat to your best friend’s marriage?’ Daniel asked, still skeptic. ‘You, like everyone else, using Carly’s past with Bo against her like this, don’t you realize you’re being unfair to her. Hope’s an adult, let her fix her marriage and leave Carly out of it.’
‘All right, all right… I hear you. But believe me, she has my support with the board and I need you to convince her; she’ll probably slam the door on my face if I go to her place. Will you do this for me please, before she tells Bo?’
Carly was glad she was yet to get a car, in her present mood she would’ve had an accident. That bastard Justin… to do such a thing to her! And Lexie... taking her loyalty towards Hope that far by agreeing with him! Frankie is right, I shouldn’t have moved back here. I’m being treated like the town pariah and I didn’t do anything wrong. How can they all be so hateful towards me?
Half blinded by angry tears, Carly didn’t see the young woman coming at the opposite direction and collided with her.
‘Hey!’ cried an angry voice. ‘Look what you made me do! Couldn’t you have watched where you were going, lady?’
Startled, Carly rubbed her eyes to see a young woman glaring at her. She was very pretty with reddish blonde hair and holding a now empty Styrofoam cup.
‘I’m… I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.’
‘A good cup of coffee wasted, no thanks to you! And all over my coat!’ the girl snapped.
Carly fumbled in her purse and brought out a hanky. ‘Here, let me. It’s my fault…’
‘You bet it was and don’t you touch me, you’ve done enough.’ The girl angrily brushed down her front. ‘Sashaying along like that and running into me… ugh!’
Lawrence may have damaged her in more ways than one but after the altercation at the hospital, Carly was done with people picking on her. And she wasn’t about to take rudeness from this slip of a girl. She glared at her in return. ‘Young woman, I said I was sorry. There’s no need to act so bratty.’
‘Don’t you call me a brat,’ the girl hurled back.
‘Okay, since you prefer to be treated like an adult, act like one. Here,’ Carly thrust a folded twenty dollar bill in the girl’s hand. ‘That should cover your coffee and the cleaning bill.’
Carly went on her way, leaving the girl speechless.