Hope Brady’s main loves were her husband, their children and their two families; the Bradys and the Hortons. And her main flaw was stubbornness, which in some cases clouded her judgment and caused her to act impulsively. Victor didn’t begrudge her and Ciara staying with him but wasted no time telling her she was being a fool, especially now that Bo’s ex was in town. Hope was still very angry at Bo’s handling of their daughter’s kidnapping and now, she was barely civil to him whenever they met. Carly Manning was a name that was never mentioned by him and then suddenly appeared out of the blue; the very night she moved out of their house. Almost like her sixth sense told her it was the exact time to come back into his life. Hope had gone back to the house that night, suddenly feeling she’d been too hasty and wanted to talk things out with Bo. But to her surprise, he wasn’t home. An hour went by and when he didn’t come decided to drive back; hoping she would meet Bo along the way. What she never expected was see him coming out of The Java; and not alone. He was in the company of a woman she’d never seen before and deep in conversation with her, holding a suitcase. The woman was shaking her head at something he was saying and reaching for the case but he held it away from her and firmly took her arm. Hope had watched perplexed as he led her to his car, depositing her in the front seat and the suitcase in the trunk before getting in and driving off.
On confronting him later she’d received what was perhaps the biggest shock of her life. The mysterious woman was Katerina Alamain; widow of the late Statesman Lawrence Alamain. She knew who he was of course, well connected politician and Prince of the country Alamainia ; who was assassinated months ago by an anarchist, she read about it in the papers. But the real shocker was how Bo knew Katerina Alamain in the first place. Not as Katerina but as Carly, Dr. Carly Manning and until Lawrence won her back… was Bo’s fiancée!
Hope couldn’t remember a time she was angrier than she was at the moment. Bo never told her about Carly Manning, no one did! It was bad enough returning home to find Bo in love with Billie Reed and battling with her for a very long time before Billie finally gave up. Now another ex-fiancée was in Salem… a widowed ex fiancée. And unlike Billie who could be described as pertly pretty, Katerina Alamain or Carly Manning was beautiful and born into an aristocratic family. And to Hope’s confusion, once married to Victor. Her father in law had nothing but hatred and bitterness towards this particular ex-wife; who-according to him- had treated him very badly by leaving him for Bo.
Bo warned Hope not to let Victor poison her against Carly. The demise of their ill-fated marriage was Victor’s fault, not Carly’s and it would never have happened at all if it wasn’t for stupidity on his part. From the way Bo talked about Carly Manning and how he never mentioned her, Hope could tell he and Carly were deeply in love at the time.
‘Why did she leave you for Lawrence Alamain then?’ she demanded. But Bo had clammed up, flatly refusing to talk about it. And everyone else gave her stilted answers about Bo and Carly’s relationship, insisting it was a very long time ago, in the past and it shouldn’t bother her.
Not bother her? Ha!
Hope listened silently as Justin urged her to fight for her marriage; especially now that it looked like Carly was back in Salem permanently. ‘So, she’s going to work at the hospital?’ she asked, not knowing what Justin tried to do for her sake.
Justin paused, still rattled by Carly’s accusations at the hospital and hoping she wouldn’t accuse Hope of sending him to Lexie. ‘Lexie’s on your side of course but even you can’t expect her to ignore Carly’s application just because you feel threatened by her.’
Hope didn’t expect such a thing either but it wasn’t heartening to know Bo’s ex was back in Salem for good. Carly Manning had replaced her while she was gone; Billie wouldn’t have been with Bo at all if Carly and Bo had made it to the altar. She couldn’t imagine Bo and the aristocrat living together at The Fancy Face with Shawn D but apparently that’s what they did. And she knew all she had to do was go home and settle things with Bo; he’s been asking her often enough. But she was yet to get past what he did and what nearly happened to Ciara. Losing her darling Zach had broken her heart and to almost lose her daughter because Bo chose not to let her pay the ransom… she simply couldn’t bear to be around him just yet. She loved him but there were times Bo really made her mad. Despite the threat of Carly Manning looming over her, she wasn’t ready to go home. They both needed this time apart.
Justin saw the stubborn lines on her face and sighed. He was very fond of his cousin’s wife and would do anything for her. But he couldn’t help but feel she was being utterly foolish.
Daniel went to see Carly at the loft later. Carly made him coffee and listened to him silently but at the end of his explanation shook her head. ‘I think it would be best if I applied to another hospital.’
‘You have the right to be angry. Justin’s a jackass and if Hope really put him up to this then she’s just as guilty as he is. But don’t give them the satisfaction of chasing you away from this job, Carly. They can think what they want to, you’re not the reason Hope and Bo are separated. Don’t let her or Justin deprive you of your fresh start. Lexie’s going to put in a good word for you with the board and so will I. In time Hope will square things with Bo and everything will go back to the way it was.’
‘Justin was my friend. Caroline Brady was like a mother to me…’ Carly shook her head sadly. ‘To come back to Salem to face such hostility and suspicion, it’s so hurtful, Daniel.’
‘I know,’ Daniel said soothingly.
‘And my brother was adopted by them, I wonder if they even bother remembering that.’
Daniel frowned. ‘What?’
Carly told him the whole story, including hers and he shook his head. ‘That makes this all the more wrong. How would they feel if Frankie finds out about this? Would they expect him to side with Hope too?’
‘Frankie and Nick were right; I shouldn’t have come back here at all.’ Carly fretted.
‘Don’t say that. This is your home,’ Daniel insisted. ‘And I’m asking you not to let them get you done. When the board agrees I want you to take this job and let Hope and the rest of them think what they like. She made the decision to leave Bo in the first place; she has no right letting everyone treat you like this.’ As he spoke Daniel thought perhaps it would serve Hope right if Bo suddenly fell in love with Carly again. Right now she was treating Bo like dirt and the family was taking her side instead of letting her know she was being unfair to her husband. Just what was Hope’s problem anyway; Ciara was back with them, safe and sound. Now that he knew Carly was once engaged to Bo, Daniel found it very difficult to imagine Carly treating Bo the way Hope was doing.
Carly shrugged, reluctantly giving way because she had already drafted out an application to St. Mary’s hospital. And she was still very angry with Justin, having a good mind to tell Bo what he did. But she remembered Bo’s temper; a confrontation might turn into a brawl. What else could she do except accept the job if the board approved her and do her best to keep a low profile. Which included not hanging with Bo often and it had more to do with her reawakening feelings for him rather than what people thought of her.
‘So, what do you say?’ Daniel interrupted her thoughts.
‘I’ll accept, if the board approves.’ Carly promised. ‘And I guess I have to apologize to Lexie for yelling at her the way I did.’
‘She’s sorry you heard it at all, she really hopes you’ll take this job. And don’t worry Carly; she’s not against you the way Justin is.’ Daniel assured her, pleased with Carly’s promise. He was genuinely fond of her, was pretty certain they’ll make a fine team and vowed to watch out for her.
‘The board approved your precious Carly today,’ Victor informed Bo a few days later, his tone malicious. Bo had come to drop off Ciara after taking her out for the day.
‘And I’m willing to bet you put up a hell of a fight over it,’ Bo replied, his tone equally malicious.
‘It’s no news I’m not thrilled to have that woman back in Salem.’
‘She has the right to come back here to live; you have no say in it.’ Bo replied. ‘And I’m just going to say this once, you’re not to thrash her to Hope, I’m not having you ruin a good woman’s name.’
‘All I did was tell Hope the truth,’ Victor said, looking sanctimonious.
Bo glared at him. ‘Fine, I’ll just give her more doses of truth… all the things you did to Carly and me to keep us apart. I’ll start with the elevator you paid your goon to sabotage so it would kill me, shall I? And my letter you had forged and how you faked your death so an innocent young woman would spend the rest of her life in prison… you want me to tell my wife all that?’
Victor said nothing, his dour face now sullen.
‘I didn’t think so,’ Bo said coldly. ‘So I better not hear you further poisoning Hope’s mind against Carly or you bothering Carly. If I hear you’re doing any of those things, I’ll personally convince Carly to sue you for defamation of character. That’s not an idle threat. Leave her alone.’
Victor was furious his son would take Carly’s part unconditionally, considering she left him to be with Lawrence Alamain. ‘I certainly hope you will find it easy to do the same,’ he snapped, remembering the waves of rage and jealousy the times he spied on them… Carly kissing Bo and clinging to him, Bo’s hands all over her, Bo and Shawn D feeding her ice cream…a close family unit.
‘What you mean by that?’ Bo demanded, wondering what Victor was going on about this time.
‘You’re so protective of your ex fiancée, I’m certain you’ll be able to control yourself and not let it go too far. Considering this is Carly Manning we’re talking about, it won’t take much to crawl back into her bed…’
‘Shut it old man or you’ll get one across your lip!’ Bo shouted, appalled at Victor’s jab, he was clearly calling Carly a slut. ‘How dare you talk about her that way!’
Victor smiled at him, scorn and malice all over his face. ‘All hot and bothered just because I described her exactly; the same woman who left you...’
‘What went on between us is none of your business, or anyone else’s!’ Bo snarled. ‘And I’m not to listen to you thrash her. I’m warning you Victor, don’t test me with this. You so much as utter one word about her or even give her one look…’ he glowered, his hand balled into a fist. ‘I won’t be responsible for my actions. Just test me and you’ll pay for it.’
Victor watched as Bo walked out on him, slamming the door behind him. Bo was too angry to notice Hope on the stairs. Hope had heard the angry exchange between them, unfortunately not the part where Bo threatened to tell her about Victor’s past misdeeds. She was stunned at the intensity in Bo’s voice as he defended Carly; for a moment she thought he would actually hit Victor. Just what are Bo’s feelings for that woman? Hope agonized, worry and fear rushing through her.