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Saturday, January 30, 2016


The men and women of the Salem Police Department gave a thunderous round of applause as Agent Clarice Parker shook hands with Abe after receiving the distinguished medal for bravery and outstanding service for her major role in solving the kidnapping case. Clarice smiled at the cheering detectives and police officers before turning to shake hands with Bo. His warm brown eyes conveyed the reminder that they were going to have their own private celebration as planned, much later. Hoping no one noticed the blush she could feel on her cheeks, Clarice posed for the camera; the two men on either side of her. From her seat, Hope watched Bo silently, thinking how very handsome he looked in his dress uniform and once again rehearsed what she wanted to say to him as soon as she got him alone. They had bonded somewhat after the sudden death of Mickey and she’d reflected on her uncle and aunt’s long  and happy marriage and how they’d lived for each other which made her realise she wanted another shot at her own marriage after all. Bo of course wanted the same; Justin never confessed  who slugged him but she knew Bo did it out of raging jealousy. Bo was the love of her life and she needed him to know that before the divorce was final. Motivated by that thought, she moved forward to shake hands with Clarice as she stepped off the podium, the plaque she’d also received under her arm. ‘Congratulations .’ she smiled.
‘Thank you.’ Clarice fingered the medal round her neck. ‘Though as far as I know, all I did was do what anyone else would’ve done.’
‘You did a whole lot for us so better get used to being  a hero for  long while.’ Bo brushed back a strand of hair from Clarice’s cheek, causing Hope’s smile to fade a bit.
‘Uh Bo, can I talk to you alone?’ she said abruptly.
‘What about?’ Bo asked as Roman pulled Clarice away to hug her.
‘It’s private and very important, please. Let’s find somewhere quiet  to talk.’
For now Clarice was surrounded by  several well-wishers so Bo nodded , following Hope out of the hall and walked with her until they got to his office. ‘So what’s this about?’ he asked as she closed the door behind them.
Hope faced him, her expression earnest. ‘I... actually I want to talk about us.’
Bo folded his arms, frowning. ‘What’s there to talk about? We’re in the middle of divorce proceedings.’
‘Yes I know and about that... we’ve been getting along better since we lost Mickey- I felt we’ve been growing closer since what happened with Dean.’ When Bo didn't reply she continued, ‘I realise I’ve been unfair with the way I’ve been pushing you away and I thought about what you said about me always running away when things get rough. Uncle Mickey never allowed anything to stand between him and Maggie, they always managed to work things out and they had a wonderful life. Maggie always said that Uncle Mickey was the only man she wanted to grow old and that kind of love is ever lasting. I now realise who I have, Bo; the only man I ever want to grow old with... you. Maybe we had problems before I was gone and after we got back together but my love for you was always there; always.’
Even after you slept with Patrick? Bo wanted to ask but he wasn't that mean spirited.  ‘Hope, what are you trying to say to me?’ he asked quietly.
Hope smiled. ‘I want us to try again, go back to the way we were. I love you Bo.’ Moving closer she slipped her arms round his neck. ‘It’s always been you... you didn't have to hit Justin.’
‘What?’ Bo asked in astonishment, pulling her arms off him.
‘He didn't have to tell me it was you, I know you very well, remember? Justin’s family, he’s always been family and that will never change. I want us to call the whole divorce off and move back in with you. Let’s both go to the judge tomorrow and tell him we’re willing to give our marriage a try.’
‘Hold up.’ Bo moved away from Hope, unable to believe what he was hearing. ‘You want to do what now?’
‘Bo, weren't you listening... I said I want us to call the proceeding off, start afresh. Two people who love each like we do shouldn’t throw away precious memories... or a marriage.’
‘But you were willing to call it off, weren't you?’ Bo said curtly. ‘I made a speech sort of like this one the night you moved out with our daughter and what did you say to me?’
‘Okay, if you insist on throwing that in my face I was wrong and unfair! I want us to move forward, I need you Bo, more than ever. I’ve missed you.’ she whispered. ‘I’m sorry it took Uncle Mickey’s death to realise how important you are to me but it’s true. So... should we stop by the judge’s chambers tomorrow?’
‘We’re not going tomorrow or day after next, not ever.’ Bo informed her, his face hard and determined.
‘But Bo, I thought...’
‘Well you thought wrong, Hope. I asked you not to leave, not to throw what we had away but you said we were done.’
 ‘I was wrong!’
‘You decided you didn't want to be with me any longer so I decided that you were right about us calling it a day. You may’ve changed your mind but I haven’t; I’m going ahead with the divorce.’
Hope stared at him, stunned. ‘I thought you would be happy, that this is what you wanted.’
‘I never wanted you to leave me in the first place but you did.’
‘Are you still bent on punishing me by bringing that up?’
‘All you seem to care about is what you went through during our separation; not one thought about how I felt when you walked out that door with Ciara; how I had to put up with everybody’s lectures and your rejection. Can you imagine how I felt all that time, Hope? Hurt, betrayed and filled with pain!’ Bo shouted. ‘This isn't about punishing you; I’m just stating clear facts. For a long time I nursed a lot of hurt and then I came to the conclusion that it actually made sense that we went our separate ways finally. You bailed when Zack died, when Kayla got shot and I waited for you to come to your senses. And then Ciara was kidnapped and you accused me of gambling with her life- something I never thought I would ever hear from the woman I loved. You said you were done; guess what...I’m done too. I’m not going to do this anymore, it’s over between us.’
Hope still couldn't believe it. ‘Bo, you have every right to be angry with me but please listen, I want us to be a family again.’
‘Well, things are different now. For Ciara’s and Shawn D’s sakes we can be friends but if you want more, I’m afraid I can’t give you that.’ As he spoke, Bo knew that he meant every word. This sudden change of heart from Hope was the last thing he expected but she was far too late. He loved Carly with all his heart and soul; she was his future and nothing or nobody was going to stand in their way. And this evening he was planning on giving her a very romantic night.
‘How are things different, Brady?’ Hope demanded. ‘Is there another woman?’
Bo didn't hesitant for a second. ‘Has Justin been trashing me to you again?’
‘That's not the answer to my question; is there somebody else because I can’t think of any other reason why you won’t give us another chance! Is there somebody else?’
Bo glared at her. ‘I don't have to answer your questions because we have nothing to say to each other.’ He pushed her hand off his arm. ‘Excuse me.’
‘Brady, don't walk out on me, we’re not finished!’ Hope prevented him from opening the door. ‘You can’t leave like this.’
Sighing exasperatedly, Bo turned to face her squarely. ‘There’s nothing left to say.’
‘You’re willing to let us go... just like that? What do you mean things are different?’
‘Hope, I don't want to do this with you. We’re only going to end up screaming at each other and end up getting nowhere. Just accept the fact that we’re never getting back together and the healthiest thing we can do is move on with our lives and do our best to get along.’ He reached for the door knob but Hope placed a firm hand against the door. ‘You aren’t going anywhere until you explain what you mean when you said things were different now.’ Hope’s face was cold.
‘Right now, Brady. I can keep us here all day if I have to.’
‘Alright, if you don't want me to spare your feelings and get tough with you.’ Bo faced her, determined to make himself clear and get out of the room so he could steal a few minutes alone with Carly before they meet at The Warehouse later for their romantic night. ‘For a long time I wanted you back with me and start over... forget about what happened. But feelings change and mine have. I love you but not the way I once did.’
‘That's not true...’ Hope stuttered, her voice shaking.
‘Face it Hope, we’ve outgrown each other!’ Bo snapped. ‘I’m done being the one chasing after you trying to fix our marriage and wait for you to decide whether you want us to stay together or not. This time; I’m jumping ship before I sink any further.’
‘Bo, come on... you can’t mean this!’ Hope pleaded.
‘Listen to me, Hope and listen good because I’m not planning on having this conversation again; it’s over! The divorce proceedings gone through far for us to do anything about it anyway and I need some stability in my life for once!’ Bo didn't want to be cruel but she’d asked for it.
‘But I’m willing to fix it this time and it’s because I love you.’ Hope pressed on, willing for his face to soften and take her in his arms. ‘I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you Bo. Can’t you forgive me?’
‘There’s nothing to forgive Hope. It’s just too late for us.’ Bo stared her down, unmoved. ‘I’m sorry but there it is. Excuse me.’
Hope waited for him to close the door behind her before giving way to tears. Bo heard the sound of her crying but kept on walking, firmly turning away from the past. Falling back in love with Carly had surprised him but he had no regrets. If Lawrence and Vivian hadn’t taken her away from him, she would’ve been his wife, Hope’s sudden return regardless. Carly wouldn't have bailed from any rough patch not would’ve given Patrick the time of day. He knew where his heart lay and he was more than happy now. He was sorry Hope was upset but he wasn't going to allow her to make him feel guilty.
Carly was standing at her desk in her office, going through a file. ‘Hey... hey... you know very well you aren’t supposed to do any work today.’ He admonished, slipping his arms round her.
She smiled, holding on to the lapels of his jacket. ‘I’m not working, just going over a few things.’
‘Well that’s good, because I won’t have you get too tired for what I got planned for us tonight.’
‘Which I still don't know exactly! Come on, the suspense is killing me!’ Carly pleaded. ‘Please... not even one little hint?’
‘No... no... you’re going to have to wait till the exact time.’ Bo stroked her hair, smiling down at the green eyes twinkling at him before kissing her deeply, feeling her arms slip round his neck. As promised they’ve been discreet, only Roman knew they were a couple and he’d loyally kept their secret. Keeping his hands off her turned out more difficult than he thought possible, reminding him of how they started years ago. Not that they’d planned to wait that long after his illness but they’d battled Victor and the various obstacles he’d thrown their way. Not this time though.
Clarice broke the kiss, rubbing his lower lip with her thumb. ‘We’ll have to lock the door and draw the blinds if we keep this up, you know.’ She murmured. Being with him and everything about him felt so surprisingly familiar to her but instead of putting it down as mere déjà vu, she figured it was because he was the soul mate she’s been searching for all her lonely life. He made her so very happy that she wanted to shout it from the rooftops and she couldn't wait to make love to him at last and spend the rest of her life with him; after she had a word with her superiors when the time came.
‘I’m game if you are.’ he whispered back, pressing his forehead against hers. Knowing full well he was teasing, she grinned, shaking her head.  ‘Yeah right... our first time on my desk.’
‘What... you think I can’t do it?’ he growled, pushing her backwards to plant her on the desk, moving her skirt up her thighs as he planted another heated kiss on her mouth.
Roman watched them from the door left ajar, shaking his head ruefully. ‘Get a room, you two.’ He murmured, shaking his head as he walked down the hall. ‘Oh no...’ he halted as Hope walked towards him. ‘Roman, where’s Bo?’ she asked, looking resolute again.
‘Uh, he stepped out a few minutes ago. Why?’ Roman fervently hoped Bo won’t spread Carly on the desk and things immediately becoming very ugly once the happy pair became vocal.
‘I need to talk to him about something very important, before it’s too late; if you know where he is, please tell me.’
‘Whoa Hope, what’s going on? What’s the urgent thing you want to talk about with Bo... if I’m allowed to ask that is?’
‘No Rom, you aren’t.’ Was the rude reply. ‘So you don't know where Bo is?’
His little brother was probably in the middle of Round One by now. Roman managed to compose himself, firmly refusing to picture Bo and Carly entwined. ‘No Hope, I don't.’ He replied, his voice curt. It suddenly occurred to him that Hope was changing her mind at the last minute and he was willing to stand by his brother if she was going to cause trouble. From the way Bo looked so happy and peaceful these days it meant he was finally having getting stability in his life and he’ll be damned before Hope upset him all over again with her shenanigans. He still had regard for Hope but Bo’s happiness was more important.
‘Fine, I’ll call him later.’ Sullenly, Hope walked away. She still didn't believe what Bo had said about not loving her anymore, she needed to discuss it with him again.
 Roman made a mental note to advise Bo about locking the door the next time he decided to indulge in ‘office sex’; Hope walking in on them was one thing, half of Salem police department doing so was another.
Meanwhile contrary to Roman’s belief, Bo and Carly hadn’t gone that far, though very close to; both so consumed with desire that they had to disentangle themselves with great effort.
‘Tonight...’ Bo promised huskily, kissing her repeatedly. ‘Just you wait.’
‘I intend to.’ She replied softly.
It was drizzling when Bo arrived at Carly’s loft that night; his arms laden with a bouquet of long stemmed roses and a picnic hamper. To her surprise, he told her to slip into something a bit more formal and not come out until he told her to. Filled with eager anticipation, Clarice found a simple green silk dress, short at the knees, slipping it on. She then applied a little makeup, some perfume and brushed her hair before sitting on her bed to wait. Finally Bo came upstairs. ‘You can come out now.’
 ‘Are you going to end the suspense now?’ she asked with mock exasperation.
‘You’ve been more than patient so come reap the results.’ Taking her arm, he led her down the iron wrought staircase to her living room and she gasped in delight at the sight. The room was lit by several scented candles, a candlelit table with their dinner laid, along with a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket and the roses placed at the centre of the table. ‘Oh my God... I don't know what to say.’ She said softly, a hand against her chest. It was absolutely perfect... a beautiful, romantic setting.
‘Then don’t try to.’ Bo slipped his arm around her shoulders, pleased to see she loved what he’d done. A close re-enactment of their date at The Wings ballroom that got ruined by Victor; but one of their priceless memories. He had more in store for her. ‘Can I sit you, my lady?’ he moved to the table and pulled out a chair for her.
‘Why thank you, good sir.’ She replied, happily playing along. When she sat down, Bo leaned over and kissed her yet again; his lips passionate and demanding against hers and she eagerly kissed him right back. ‘I love you so much.’ she whispered.
‘I love you too, princess.’
Carly pulled back a bit, staring at him. ‘What did you just call me?’ she asked.
‘You don't like it?’ Bo watched her carefully. ‘I thought it suited you... because you’re so beautiful.’ It was actually one of the reasons why the pet name had stuck; he’d first called her that on her birthday because the old classic tale ‘The Princess and the Pea’ had come to his mind when she complained of the lumpy mattress she had to sleep on and that was before he found out she was Lady Katarina Von Leuschner.
Clarice hesitated, thinking about the crystal figurine of a woman resting on her nightstand; wearing a tiara and a ball gown...
‘Was that why you gave me that figurine for Christmas, because it reminded you of me?’
Bo touched her face, nodding. ‘I didn't know what I felt for you then, but yeah... it did. You don't mind if I call you that?’
No one’s ever called her that yet why did it sound vaguely familiar? Clarice agonised. She couldn't understand it at all. But she wasn't going to let another nagging sense of déjà vu ruin their evening. So instead she smiled. ‘No, it’s flattering and very sweet.’
Bo saw the way her face looked at the name; another cloudy memory that will surely come back to her more clearly as they progressed; in time she would be Carly again and she’ll be able to tell him exactly what Lawrence did to her. Right now he was very glad to call her by her old pet name again. Stroking her hair and kissing her forehead, he took his place opposite her and took the chilled champagne from the ice bucket.
When dinner was over they moved to the blanket Bo had spread near the fire place. It was now raining heavily outside; the raindrops pattering against the windows.
‘Wow... it’s really pouring now, I’m so glad you got here before it really came down hard.’ She said, resting against Bo. ‘Thank you for doing this; everything’s so perfect... the food, the wine, the candles... you.’
He smiled his face against her hair. ‘You’re more than worth it, princess. You should know by now I would do anything for you.’
Clarice smiled, her eyes closed. In the present romantic setting she felt like they were the only people in the world, their very own special world. ‘This is probably what heaven feels like. Being in the perfect spot with someone you love so much and just be in the moment.’
Bo tensed, waiting for her to say more; half hoping she would say- the place where all that is not music is silence. But instead, she rested her head against his chest, fingering the silver chain he always wore. ‘I haven’t felt this sense of peace before. It was always work and one mission to another; being alone.’
‘Why would anyone as beautiful as you want to be alone?’ Bo asked, rubbing her bare back.
She shrugged. ‘I kept men at arm’s length most of the time. There were good ones but... I was never exactly in tune with them, emotionally or physically and also because of my line of work, I didn’t have the luxury of trusting easily. I never let anyone close until you.’ She looked up at him. ‘You’re my soul mate, Bo. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you.’
 Touched by her words he stroked her face with his fingers, loving her so much. ‘For the rest of the time I’ve got here on earth Clarice, I’m yours and nothing or nobody will ever come between us, I promise you.’
‘Are you absolutely sure this is what you want?’
‘What’s this, you don't trust me?’
‘It’s not that... I do. But Hope, you’ve been together for so long; you have children and a history.’
‘People with longer marriages than ours have been known to fall apart like we did. If you’re blaming yourself for what happened between me and Hope, that’s crazy. You’re not the other woman, you comforted me when I needed a friend and we fell in love. We’ve got nothing to be guilty or ashamed about. When the divorce is final, everybody will know we’re together and simply learn to accept it.’
‘Including Ciara? It’s one thing to accept me as a friend but as her father’s girlfriend?’
‘Princess, stop worrying so much, please.’ He chided. ‘Ciara understands the situation, how she feels about you won’t change when we tell her. She’ll be glad to have you more in her life, you’re her hero.’
Clarice smiled. ‘I love her too; I really hope we’ll be able to forge a wonderful relationship.’
‘You will, don't you fret anymore. In the meantime, how about we enjoy the rest of our evening?’ Pushing her gently on the blanket, they kissed and cuddled for several minutes; Clarice moved under him, moaning as he touched her breasts and planted kisses down her neck, feeling his hardness against her thigh. ‘Let’s... go upstairs.’ She whispered breathlessly.
‘Come on...’  He got up, pulling her to her feet. Blowing out the candles first, they went up to her room; hand in hand.  Bo pulled her against him and resumed kissing her deeply, pulling her hard against him. After holding back for so long he wanted to tear her clothes off and make love to her with wild abandon. But common sense prevailed the burning hunger within him; Lawrence probably raped her several times before her amnesia and the last thing Bo wanted was to invoke horrible memories of that beast by being hasty and rough making love to her. Keeping his mouth on hers, Bo reached for the zipper of her dress, drawing it down slowly and then peeling the garment off, breaking the kiss to look at her. Clarice’s cheeks went pink as his eyes and hands swept over her body but she held on to him, her arms round his waist.
You’re so beautiful…’ he murmured, drinking in the sight of the familiar body; his heart clenching at the small scars that weren't there years ago; either from Lawrence or her ‘assignments’. He touched one and Clarice pushed his hand away. ‘It’s ugly...’ she murmured self consciously.
‘Scars of battle... and bravery.’ He contradicted gently. ‘Which makes them beautiful, everything about you is beautiful.’ Brushing back her hair, he resumed kissing her, moving over her cheeks and neck. Her fingers trembling, she unbuttoned his shirt, peeling it down his shoulders and Bo shrugged it off, his breathing quick and unsteady. Clarice touched him in wonder. ‘You’re… so incredible…’ she said softly, her fingers exploring his chest. ‘More than I imagined. For a long time I’ve fantasized touching you like this.’ 
‘Me too.’ He whispered, touching her neck, moving up to her face. ‘All those times you were in my office… all I could think about was flinging you on the desk, making love to you. I’ve wanted to make love to you for so long.’ 
‘Make love to me, Bo. Make me’ she whispered, clinging to him. Holding her round the waist, Bo walked her backwards to the bed and sat her down; stroking her hair as she kissed his stomach, unbuckling his belt and unzipping his pants. Lowering her on the bed he moved over her as she shifted to the center, their mouths fusing hungrily and aggressively, hands feverishly caressing each other. Clarice ran her fingers through Bo’s hair, shivering as he planted kisses along the side of her neck; loving the erotic, spiky feel of his beard grazing her skin. Bo moved his lips to the top of her breasts, unfastening her bra and kissed the soft undersides, savoring the sound of her breathy gasps as he devoured her breasts. Clarice moved restlessly under him; delicious sensations running through her body; the feelings he invoked in her more sensual and scorching than her wildest dreams about him and she sank further and further in the vortex of passion. Bo moved down to kiss her stomach, peeling off her panties. Clarice reached for him but he took her hands, placing them back on her sides. Tracing her navel with his tongue, he moved down, nudging her legs apart. While the storm raged outside, white-hot passion raged in the bedroom. Clarice twined her arms and legs around her lover as he moved inside her, going deeper as he drove them both into the scorching hot inferno, crying out his name. Hands feverishly caressed, mouths met and clung desperately. Bo whispered words of love against her lips, burying his face against her soft neck as he went on pleasuring her; two bodies, two souls entwined in heated, boundless passion...
It was drizzling again when Bo opened his eyes; spooned against Clarice. She lay in his arms, her face half hidden by her tousled hair.
‘Good morning,’ he whispered against her cheek.
She smiled sleepily, turning in his arms. ‘Good morning. Last night wasn't a dream?’
‘Mmm… I don’t think so.’ Draping his thigh over hers, he kissed her repeatedly. Clarice clung to him, welcoming his kisses, moving down to plant kisses on his chest. ‘Last night was so beautiful…and romantic.’
‘I aim to please,’ he took her hand, kissing her fingers one by one. ‘Mostly because you inspire me.’
She giggled, kissing him again. ‘It’s still raining outside. You’re not in a hurry to leave, are you?’
‘It happens to me my day off…and yours too.’ He smirked suggestively. She grinned back. ‘So what do you suggest we do, boss?’
‘I can think of loads of things and it doesn’t involve getting out of this bed any time soon.’ She shrieked as he grabbed her, pinning her under him again.
‘You’re insatiable, Commissioner.’
‘You’re unbearably sexy, Agent Parker, that’s why.’ He growled, losing himself in her all over again. Ten minutes later, they lay exhausted and spent against each other. ‘I’m going to summon some strength now by taking a shower and then check what I have in the fridge.’ She climbed out of the bed. ‘Coming?’
‘Miss the chance of taking a shower with you? Lead the way.’
She smiled at him tenderly, pulling his head down for another heated kiss. But as he turned to go into the bathroom, her smile faded as she stared at the tattoo on Bo’s back; of a dagger. Her mind went back to the recurring dream of the faceless man with a tattoo on the exact spot…

Friday, January 29, 2016


The burden of what she’d done haunted Clarice for days after the party; she was unable to think straight or sleep well. Every time she closed her eyes she only saw Bo; Bo kissing her, touching her. And she kept having that strange recurring dream, which totally confused her. She didn't understand it, neither did she understand just why that kiss with Bo had felt so mind blowing familiar, why being in his arms felt like she’s always been connected with him. She loved him so very much but he didn't belong to her. He was married and still in love with Hope and for his sake and her own, she couldn't have an affair with him.
Checking her gun before slipping it into the holster on her waist, she glanced at the expensive crystal figurine Bo gave her for Christmas, placed on the nightstand next to her bed. It was of a woman in a ball gown, a fan in her hand and a tiara on her flowing curls. It held a strange significance to her but she was yet to know what it was, somehow it had something to do with her. Just as Bo felt like a part of her that's been missing for so long. Sighing, Clarice grabbed her keys and purse, letting herself out of the loft. Since the kiss, she could barely look Bo in the eye much less talk to him freely as before; these days she avoided being alone with him. And judging by the determined look Bo gave her in response, she knew she won’t be able to dodge him much longer. Hope was still on leave; at least she didn't have to deal with her, she was very sure her guilt would be clearly written all over her face.
Parking at the space reserved to her, she walked through the station’s double doors, responding to several greetings;  too preoccupied to  notice the appreciative looks or hear the muted whistles from the officers as she passed them. Getting to her office she opened her door and she jumped on seeing Bo sitting on her chair, his feet resting on her desk. ‘Good morning Clarice.’ He said, without smiling.
And here’s the day of reckoning... she thought ruefully as she closed the door behind her. ‘Good morning, Bo. What are you doing here?’ she asked, taking off her tailored jacket.
Bo surveyed the outfit Carly was wearing, an outfit that was probably her idea of severe but in his opinion it was most certainly not; a silk white top over black pants tucked into matching knee boots; her hair flowing down her shoulders. She looked absolutely beautiful.
‘I figured it was best to wait here instead of sending for you and getting  a whole bunch of excuses instead.’ was the flat reply. ‘You’ve been avoiding me since the party and I want an explanation.’  Rising, he walked over to her, staring her down. ‘Right now... where you can’t duck me.’
Sighing heavily she turned away but he grabbed her arm, turning her round to face him. ‘You and I gonna have to talk  about it sometime.’ He insisted.
‘Okay... let’s talk about it.’ Clarice said, folding her arms. ‘I’m been advising you to work things out with Hope and we ended up kissing. How can you act like we didn't do anything wrong?’
‘Because we didn't do anything wrong and I can’t believe you’re trying to insinuate that kiss was a mistake!’
‘It was a mistake! My God... you’re married and you’re... you’re my friend. I’m supposed to be helping you fix your marriage, not come on to you!’
‘Oh Clarice... give me a break!’ Bo said, exasperated. ‘You didn't come on to me and you know it! If there’s anyone who should feel guilty it should be me and guess what... no guilt!’
‘So what, you kissed me to get back at Hope?’ she snapped. ‘Is that why you don't feel guilty?’
Bo stared at her, hurt beyond measure. ‘Is that what you think?’
‘Bo, it’s obvious... more than obvious that you love her very much. You’re so lost without her so why the hell did you kiss me other than... where are you going?’ she asked as Bo walked round her.
Bo held on to the doorknob in a vice-grip, struggling to rein in his anger at her words. When he’d kissed Carly that night, all the years without her had vanished in one big swoop; caressing her body brought back more hot, wonderful memories... making love to her on the boat every night in particular. There was no use denying it, he wanted her badly and not just physically. But she just stung him by her insinuation that he was using her as a means of revenge.
 ‘What... I’m supposed to stand here and listen to you belittle what we shared? You think I’m that shallow that I would actually use you that way? Well, fine; maybe it was a mistake... a mistake that won’t happen again, I’m out of here!’ he walked out, slamming the door behind him. Clarice winced, feeling the tears fall down her cheeks. Her first impulse was to run after him but she didn't. Maybe it was best if he stayed angry with her; as long as he was, it would motivate him to go back to Hope... as much as the thought broke her heart. Sniffling, she sat at the edge of her desk, very sad.
Bo was angry and sad as he walked to his own office; sad at what Carly said and angry he’d snapped at her that way. What else would she think; he was the married one who missed his wife. But he’d known what he was doing when he took her in his arms that night, he’d wanted to kiss her because the feelings she’d been invoking in him had grown stronger and he needed to know what they were once and for all. And that need made him miss Hope less and less; the idea of fighting the divorce not at all strong. Hope wanted to get rid of him after all he’d done to be a good husband and father... so what the hell had he done wrong by kissing his ex? Sighing, he sat at his desk and began the day’s work.
Roman came into his office a few hours later to pick up a file, noticing the brooding look on his brother’s face. ‘You okay, little brother?’ he asked, immediately concerned.
‘I’m great, just great.’ Bo muttered. Roman shook his head.
‘You’ve been acting weird since the Christmas party, man. Give... what’s the matter? Is it Hope?’
Bo opened his mouth to reply then realised if he said yes, he’ll be lying through his teeth. Hope wasn't the one he’d been thinking of with longing all day and it no longer surprised him these days. He wanted Carly in his arms and he now knew what he’d been feeling.
‘No... it’s not Hope. Matter of fact, I got served  yesterday.’
‘Yeah... already.’
Roman was baffled at how nonchalant Bo sounded. ‘Aren’t you going to talk to her?’
‘Aren’t you going to talk to her.... aren’t you going to talk to her...’ Bo sing songed with heavy sarcasm and disgust. ‘One more time big brother... what the hell have I been doing since she moved out with our daughter, getting a manicure and shopping for shoes?’ 
‘Okay Bo, there’s no need to be...’
‘I’ve got the right to sound anyway I like because  I’m sick of everybody asking me that and treating Hope like she’s the victim; what reason does she have to divorce me, after everything I’ve done for her!’ Bo shouted angrily, getting up from his chair.  ‘None, Rom! 25 years doesn't guarantee happiness and Hope’s not been happy with me for a long time; and I’ve done nothing but try to talk to her, make her listen to me! And all I’ve got is coldness, rejection! What reason do I have to cling on to her, tell me that!’
Roman, in point of fact, was unable to find a reason. ‘I’m sorry, Bo... believe me I am. I guess that's what we’ve all been doing... not considering your own feelings.’
‘Not everyone, exactly.’ Bo’s face softened a bit. ‘Carly feels Hope and I should be together because we still love each other; that love can solve anything.’
‘And isn't that true? That’s one of the reasons why I feel you should fight this divorce instead of letting Hope go. I just think you might regret it later.’
Bo shook his head. ‘I don't think so. If Hope’s still in love with me, I think she’ll be the one with the regrets.’
‘Why?’ Roman suspected the answer but he might still be wrong. All through the party, Bo never took his eyes off Carly and she was so quiet when he’d driven her home. Knowing them both very well, it was unintentional but to be expected.
Bo looked at Roman, his smile faint. ‘Because... I’m falling in love with Carly all over again.’
Clarice pulled herself together enough to work and in a few hours she was immersed in the files on her desk; managing not to think about Bo or the hurt look on his face. She loved him but she couldn't possibly come between him and his family... there was Ciara to consider too, she couldn't forget that.
Finally glancing at her watch she realised she’d lost track of time; it was lunchtime and she was rather hungry. Sighing, she filed the documents and put them neatly away.
‘Knock, Knock...’ she looked up, frowning when she saw who it was. ‘What do you want?’ she asked coldly.
Justin raised his eyebrows as he closed the door behind. ‘Hello to you too. What’s with the icy greeting?’
‘This is a police station, not a country club. Everyone here’s busy with important things, including me.’
‘So you think I don't work hard for a living like everyone here?’ Justin asked, affronted.  ‘Why are you picking on me?’
Clarice glared at him. ‘Say what you want to say and go.’
Justin shrugged, watching her carefully as he sat down opposite her. Carly as an ISA agent was still so new to him; while she was as beautiful as ever there was something hard about her eyes that wasn't there years ago, probably because of the physical and psychological abuse at Lawrence’s hands... which she still didn't remember. He wondered what Bo felt about this new Carly and if it could be used to his advantage. He had seen the way Bo looked at her at the party while they were dancing; a look of raw hunger and longing on his face which surprised and pleased him. It was only a matter of time he acted on it and Carly will definitely let him; this wasn't the old Carly who would rather die than sleep with a married man. But then again, she was still technically married to Victor when she started sleeping with Bo.
‘I wanted to talk about Bo and Hope.’ He said, startling her.
‘What about them?’ she asked warily, putting down her pen.
‘Their marriage’s finally hit the rocks; I think you’re aware of that.’
‘I wouldn't say that, they are going through a rough patch, that’s all.’ she said, wondering what he was getting at. ‘What business is it of yours anyway?’
‘Why are you attacking me this way?’ he asked surprised.
‘You want to why, I don't like you!’ Clarice rose from her seat, furious. ‘I don't like the way you behaved with Hope at the party, like she was your property! You’re Bo’s cousin; you’re supposed to bring them together, not hover round her like a phantom! Why would you now come here to discuss them?’
Justin got up too, angry at being spoken to this way. ‘Hope wants out of this marriage and if she wants me around, fine with me. You should talk... you and Bo at the party? You both looked like you were ready to do it in front of everybody!’
‘Get out of my office Justin Kiriakis, before I hurt you.’ Clarice said, her voice ominously low.
Justin backed off, seeing the glint in those green eyes. ‘Wait... wait... I’m sorry, I didn't mean to insult you. I only came here to talk.’
 ‘Yeah... I have a pretty good idea what you wanted to talk about!’ Clarice pushed her chair savagely aside, Justin stepping backwards as she walked to him. ‘You obviously want Hope for yourself don't you? And you thought you could come here and persuade me to entrap Bo somehow so that Hope will definitely divorce him and you’ll what... console her?’
‘Why would I want you to entrap Bo?’ Justin snapped defensively. He should have known profiler Carly would put two and two together but she was almost right. He’d wanted her to encourage Bo since he obviously wanted her, not entrap him.
 ‘Because you insinuated that I would like to sleep with him... by that stupid accusation earlier! Just who do you think you are, trying to hurt your cousin like that?’
‘I’m not trying to hurt Bo! But he shouldn’t hold on to a marriage that no longer exist, Hope wants her freedom and Bo needs to just move on.’
‘What would you know about what she wants?’
‘ Because she told me! She’s tired of Bo ruining her life and putting her children in danger.  He didn't care about Hope’s feelings when he almost got Ciara killed by offering that stupid reward...’
Carly’s fist caught him on the nose, his neck almost snapping from the impact. Clutching it, he looked at Carly’s angry white face, speechless.
‘Say whatever you like about Bo... but not in front of me, ever again.’ Her voice shook with rage. ‘Bo’s a good man... a  good husband and father and if Hope wants to throw that away by believing otherwise, her loss! You’re a despicable human being for taking her side and I want you out of my sight right now. Get out!’
Boy... Bo and new Carly are definitely made for each other; the way they handle matters with their fists! Justin thought ruefully as he silently obeyed, pulling out a handkerchief from his pocket to staunch the bleeding. By defending Bo, she’d given herself away and it was only a matter of time before she and Bo succumbed to temptation and they will. And then Bo won’t have an excuse to stand in Hope’s way.
Clarice rubbed her arms, agitated but not sorry; he more than deserved it. ‘Son of a bitch....’ She muttered then spun round as the door opened again. It was Bo, an odd expression on his face as he closed the door behind him. ‘What happened? I just saw Justin leaving with a hand to his nose.’
Clarice found herself unable to speak. Bo took her hand, examining the red knuckles. ‘You hit him?’
I hate him.’ she whispered angrily. ‘He said horrible things about you, I wanted to kill him... he has no right...’
‘Hey it’s okay, calm down...’ Bo pulled her into his arms, tucking her face into his neck; filled with renewed optimism. He was on his way to apologise to her when he’d seen Justin, he didn't give a damn whatever Justin had said about him, he cared more about Carly’s reaction and he needed to explain himself.
‘I’m so sorry for what I said to you earlier... I feel so awful.’ She whispered.
‘Don't worry about it.’ Bo held her tighter; stroking her hair. ‘I actually came here to apologise for snapping at you. But I’m not the least bit sorry I kissed you.’ He pulled back slightly to brush back strands of hair from her forehead. ‘I don't regret anything.’
‘Bo, listen...’
‘No, Clarice, you listen... hear me out.’ Bo made her sit down on the chair, while he sat at the edge of her desk, holding her hand. ‘When I kissed you, didn't it occur to you that I did it because I have feelings for you? I kissed you, I saw you... not Hope. I wasn't thinking about her at all, only you.’
‘Bo, I’m flattered but I can’t come between you and Hope.’ She whispered. ‘I can’t be the other woman.’
Bo looked at her steadily. ‘A lot of things came between me and Hope, long before you came to Salem, Clarice. And what’s going on between us has nothing to do with you. She wants to end it and I’m not going to stop her this time; because I know it’s for the best. If we continue holding on to a cracking marriage, we’ll just going to end up hating each other and that won’t be good for Ciara or Shawn Douglas. I deserve some constancy in my life and after we kissed; more than ever I knew I was going to find it with you. And with the way you kissed me back you can’t tell me you didn’t feel anything.’
Clarice bit her lip, her hand still clasped in his; feeling her cheeks go warm as she blushed red. ‘I don't know what to say.’
‘I really want to be with you, Clarice. Is that so bad?’
‘Suppose Hope suddenly changes her mind tomorrow?’ Clarice insisted, refusing to believe what Bo was saying yet thrilled at the idea of being with him. ‘I mean... you two have been married for so long and you’ve only known me for two months, I’m a stranger.’
Oh, princess... if you only knew, thought Bo as she freed her hand and got up, turning away from him. He rose, walked up to stand behind her; pushing back hair from her neck.
‘I think it’s time we stopped holding back what we feel about each other, Clarice.’ He said softly, moving his hands down to squeeze her shoulders. When she didn't speak, he gently turned her round to face him. She stared at him, her expression nakedly vulnerable. ‘Bo, I just don't know...’ she began then his warm mouth covered hers in another bruising kiss. Forgetting her reservations for the moment, Clarice wrapped her arms round his neck eagerly responding to the wild hunger of his mouth; electrified by his touch. Keeping his mouth fastened on hers, Bo gently walked Carly backwards, lifted her and pinned her against the wall; her legs automatically wrapping round him. Using one hand to unbutton her top, he broke the kiss to run his lips down the side of her neck, drawing a gasp from her as he gently kneaded a breast. He was feeling very hard; in a matter of seconds they will end up on the floor naked and he was more than game.
Clarice moaned as his lips moved to the top of her breasts; the urgent, searching pressure of his mouth taking her breath away, the shudder of passion running through her body as she allowed Bo touch her, to rain kisses all over her face.
‘Bo...’ she whispered.
‘Yeah?’ he whispered back.
‘Your gun’s digging into my ribs.’ She pushed at his shoulders gently.
‘Oh, sorry...’ he set her down but kept his arms round her waist, his eyes moving over her flushed face. ‘So...’
‘So...’ she echoed softly as she buttoned her blouse. ‘What do we do now?’
He knew exactly what he wanted to do to her, over and over again.
 Roman had sighed heavily at his announcement. ‘I knew this would happen sooner or later.’
‘From the moment she walked in here that night after sixteen years I just felt so drawn to her, it’s a force bigger than me.’
‘Yeah and I can guess what it is... that weird connection you two always had between you.’ Roman pointed out. ‘Remember what Professor Moore told you when you asked him how Mayan Symbolic Weddings were performed,  he also told you why it’s done in the first place... to join a man and a woman as spiritual partners.’
Bo had stared at him in astonishment. ‘You remember that?’
Of course I remember, it’s a very deep thing!’ Roman retorted. ‘It’s still there, it was never broken, was it? That’s the reason why you can’t help loving her, besides Carly being so...’ he shrugged ruefully, ‘you know. I can’t help feeling a little jealous to tell the truth.’ His face suddenly sobered. ‘And speaking of which, now that the situation’s changed, you know you’re going to have to tell Carly the truth. If you two get closer she might start getting memory flashes she doesn't understand and it will be your job to fill the blanks and give her answers. And I’m still willing to help you, okay?’
Bo had nodded, hugging his brother in gratitude. Now he smiled tenderly down at her. ‘We formally begin dating, of course. I sense you don't want to rush things, right?’
‘Right.’ she smiled back.
‘And you don't have to worry about Hope changing her mind because she’s already filed for a divorce. Even if she did... I’m right where I want to be, with you.’ he caressed her cheek with one hand. ‘To keep tongues from wagging at least until after the divorce is final, we’ll be as discreet as we can; I won’t have anybody talking trash about you. Lucky for us...’ his smile grew wider, ‘I know a nice, intimate restaurant  we can go to tonight to start off our new relationship. Great food, good music to listen...’ he kissed her again, ‘and dance to.’
Clarice chuckled, overwhelmed and so happy. ‘I still can’t believe this... this is insane.’
‘Just go with it Clarice, don't think... just let go.’ They kissed more sensually, unable to get enough of each other.
The place he took her to after work was small, dark and intimate like he promised. After finding a table, their orders were taken by a waitress. Bo picked up a bread stick from the basket and fed Carly, accepting one in return from her. For the first time in years he felt completely free; a heavy weight lifted off his shoulders. It wasn't just the old connection that made him fall back in love with Carly but because she was simply Carly, unchanged even with the memory loss which he will definitely put right no matter how long it took.
‘I’m so glad to have you with me.’ he said as they toasted after dinner.
‘Me too. And you know... I have a confession to make.’ She said, reaching out to rub his cheek. ‘When I first saw you the night I brought Ciara back I  felt this strange thing in me; like we’ve always been connected.’
Bo’s heart skipped a beat. ‘Really?’ he asked.
‘Yes, like you’re my missing other half; almost as if I knew you in a past life. And when you kissed me at the party, it felt so familiar... like it wasn't even our first kiss at all, almost like you’ve kissed me before.’ She shook her head. ‘You probably think I’m crazy.’
‘No... of course not.’ Bo protested, trying to hide the excitement in his voice. The healing process has started... she’s going to start remembering! More than ever he was very glad they were now together, he could re-enact some of their past memorable moments... that would surely help her lot. He made a mental note to ask his mother to bring down a certain truck stored away in the attic.
‘Well... I’ve never believed in that feeling some people experience till now; you know that weird feeling called déjà vu. This is obviously a classic case of it.’
‘Well, having a sense of déjà vu doesn't make you crazy, and you’re not.’ Bo squeezed her hand. ‘We’re two people who found each other and drawn together through irresistible forces. And you want to know what I’m feeling right now?’ He looked deep into her eyes. ‘I love you, Clarice.’
Clarice touched his face, suddenly tears blurring her vision. ‘I love you too, I’ve loved you from the moment I saw you. I never, ever thought this would happen.’ she whispered.
‘Neither did I but here we are now. Maybe we’re acting like two crazy teenagers but...’ he laughed softly, ‘it’s the most wonderful feeling.’ Leaning, he kissed her deeply, massaging her neck. He broke the kiss when the other diners moved to the dance floor as another song came up, an old favourite. He got up, holding out his hand to her. ‘Dance with me?’ Without a word, she took his hand and he led her to the centre of the room, placing his arms round her waist, hers encircled his neck.

Close your eyes
Give me your hand, Darling
Do you feel my heart beating?
Do you understand?
Do you feel the same?
Am I only dreaming?
Is this burning an eternal flame?

I believe it's meant to be, Darling
I watch you when you are sleeping
You belong with me
Do you feel the same?
Am I only dreaming?
Or is this burning an eternal flame?
Clarice felt like she was floating on air as she moved to the music in Bo’s arms; still unable to believe this moment was real. Bo pressed his lips on her forehead, moving down to her cheek.
Say my name
Sun shines through the rain
My whole life so lonely
You come and ease the pain
I don't wanna lose this feeling

‘If this is an eternal flame, I don't want it to stop burning.’ Bo said softly against her neck.
‘Neither do I.’ Clarice replied, moving her head to meet his lips, sensually kissing all through the rest of the song.