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.’
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.’
‘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.