‘She didn't tell you were she was going?’ Bo asked Officer Davis who quailed at his harsh tone. Bo’s men feared him as much as they loved and respected him and always did all they could to avoid getting on his bad side; he had a terrible temper.
‘Just that she needed a car because she was going to the other end of town, sir. That’s all I know. I offered her one of the men to go with her but she said no.’
‘Protocol Davis, Protocol... no one goes out on a case alone! You should’ve insisted!’ Bo shouted, really angry.
‘Bo...’ Roman began then stopped. Chastising the Commissioner, even if he was his younger brother, in front of the subordinates was simply not done. Bo’s present mood was obviously because of what they’d gotten from Shane and he’d taking what had happened to Carly deeply to heart.
‘That will be all, Davis.’ Abe said frowning at Bo as Davis retreated gratefully. ‘Was that necessary, Bo?’
‘What if something’s happened to her again...’
‘She’s a trained agent with long experience in law enforcement; she can take care of herself! She’ll soon be back.’
But Bo knew he won’t rest easy until he saw her again. Shane’s words had ripped his heart; severely beaten and almost dead.... in a coma for weeks...severe retrograde amnesia...
‘It’s my fault... everything she went through... my fault.’ he said numbly.
‘Frankie’s full of shit.’ Roman said in his usual blunt manner. ‘You weren’t the one who beat her senseless and left her out there to die. You couldn't have known he would treat her that way after they left...’
‘I knew what kind of man Larry was!’ Bo growled. ‘He brainwashed her the whole time I was out of town working on that drug case. I should have arrested him, shot him even! Anything to gain more time to get my Carly back... get back what we had!’A relationship between equals because Carly had taken care of him as much as he took care of her.
‘Bo.’ Abe said, squeezing his shoulder. ‘No matter what Frankie thinks, what happened to Carly wasn't your fault. And once Carly gets her memory back, she’ll say the same, you’ll see.’
‘Yeah Bo.’ Roman agreed. ‘Carly will never blame you for what happened. She wouldn't have gone with Alamain in the first place if Vivian hadn’t buried her alive and scrambled her brain with whatever crap she drugged her with.... she loved you.’
And he had loved her more than life itself, which is why despite Abe and Roman’s words he still couldn't help but feel he had failed her greatly. And the sheer quirk of fate... within hours of returning to Salem, she’d rescued his daughter and right now going out of her way to help him. Whatever it took... he was going to help her in turn.
The car she’d borrowed had no radio and to add to her frustration, there was no signal in her cell.
‘Damn it!’ Clarice swore savagely. Dean was out there roaming as free as a bird... he could be plotting to abduct Ciara again or worse!
Sitting back in the driver’s seat, Clarice brushed back some strands of hair from her forehead and went into profiler mode; picturing the scenario through Dean’s eyes.
The investigation’s still going on but no one suspects me; no one ever saw me with Brenda so they can’t link her to me or Kyle. Ciara will be heavily guarded so it won’t be easy grabbing her this time, with both my allies dead. I’ll have to bid my time.
Dean didn't know about the clicking sound Ciara and the bartender had heard or that it has been identified as his lighter. Unless he was stupid enough to use it anywhere near Ciara, they had the element of surprise; they could nab him before he could blink and case closed!
Clarice reached for the ignition but another thought stilled her hand. Dean had killed his own lover to avoid arrest, hence a very ruthless, cold blooded man. For a police officer to do such a thing, the purpose for kidnapping Ciara in the first place couldn’t have been money alone... a grudge against Bo maybe? It was common... an evil mind nursing a grudge or cold rage always wore the mask of morality, planning his strategy carefully for months. Who would suspect a police officer of kidnap and murder?
He wouldn't have released Ciara even if he’d gotten his money, Clarice realised. He would’ve killed her and then killed Kyle and Brenda... making it look like self defence; no one would think he had anything to with it, he would be proclaimed a hero all the while laughing at them behind their backs. Bo had run a great risk but he’d definitely done the right thing not paying the ransom!
Dean will be planning his strategy all over again. And for the second time, his plan will come to nothing. With that pleasing thought, Clarice turned the ignition key only to hear a click. She tried again but the engine didn't go on.
‘Oh no...’ She groaned.
Bo was surprised and not at all pleased to find Dean Hartman in his house in deep conversation with Hope.
‘Sir.’ Dean greeted respectfully, a wary look on his face.
‘Dean. What are you doing here?’
‘I asked him over.’ Hope said purposefully. ‘I was just telling him I’ve arranged to have the money wired into his account today.’
Dean prided himself at being so clever enough at hiding his glee at the furious look on Bo’s face; Bo and Hope were at each other’s throats. Far better than he’d planned to happen between them.
‘Dean, I need to set you straight.’ Bo said as calmly as he could. ‘You should know that department rules state an officer on duty isn't eligible for monetary rewards.’
Says you; Dean thought contemptuously. He looked at Hope with mute appeal.
‘Bo, let’s not keep arguing about this, I already told you I was going to give it to Dean.’
‘Hope, you already know very well...’
‘I know what I want and that’s to do the right thing.’
‘Look, if this is causing trouble between you two, maybe it’s best we cancel the whole thing’ Dean said , looking embarrassed, inwardly struggling not to laugh.
‘No Dean, you’re going to have your money.’ Hope said purposefully. ‘I’ve already called my lawyer, end of discussion.’
Christ, she was impossible!
Carly wouldn't treat you like this. The voice in his head pointed out. Never.
Oh, shut up!
‘Dean, if you don't mind, my wife and I need to have a private discussion.’ Bo said, his eyes not leaving her.
‘Dean, stay... we’re not done.’ Hope replied, glaring back at Bo.
‘Listen, how about I come back later; I don't want to get in the middle of... whatever going on with you two. See you later, sir.’ Dean made a hasty retreat.
‘Just what do you want?’ he overheard Bo shout, ‘a damn apology?’
‘I’m not holding my breath for one, Brady.’
‘Then what is it? You’re mad at me because I don't think I made a mistake, well guess what lady... I didn't! No matter what you, or Justin or even my father thinks; I knew what I was doing when I didn't let you pay the ransom!’
‘Yeah... keep telling yourself that, Commissioner!’ Hope shouted back. ‘You’re so full of yourself that it’s way too much for you to actually admit that you’re capable of mistakes!’
Oh Lord, it can’t get better than this... Dean grinned, longing to dance a jig. They got their brat back but their marriage was falling apart; Hope wasn't getting her happy ending after all. Serves her right.
He dived for cover as Bo came out, slamming the door behind him; his expression that of frustration and anger. From his hiding place, Dean watched Bo as he pulled out his cell and dialled. ‘Brady here.’ He heard him say. ‘Is Clarice... I mean, Ms. Parker back yet? No? She hasn’t called in?’ a pause and Bo’s frown deepened. ‘Have her call me the soonest she gets in. Better still... tell her to meet me at The Java. Thanks.’
‘Where the hell is she?’ he muttered out loud as he hung up and walked down the street.
Well, well... Dean thought to himself. Bo sounded very concerned about the beautiful ISA agent ; with the strain going on between him and Hope, this looked like the beginning of a very interesting triangle. Too bad he was leaving town, it would’ve been so interesting to see Hope squirm with humiliation at the sight of her husband with another woman; personally he would choose Clarice too, those bright green eyes of hers and everything about her radiated pure sensuality. Sighing, he shrugged. There would be more than enough girls in Acapulco after all.
Much as he didn't want to compare Carly with his wife, Bo found himself doing just that as he mulled over his coffee. Carly had been more stubborn than Hope and so independent, considering she was of blue-blood and had lived in a world far different from his. On the rare times they’d fought she was usually the first to make amends. He could still remember how he’d returned to the boat one night after storming out and found her waiting up for him; she’d flung her arms round his neck, tearfully apologising and saying how much she loved him. Carly never judged him, never put him down... most times she defended him. True, she’d had the annoying habit of hiding things from him but there had always been a good reason behind them, he reminded himself. They’d loved the same things, wanted the same things; he remembered her once saying the best thing that could happen to a woman was having a child with the man she loved.
‘I can’t think of anything more incredible than that.’
‘And this from a woman who doesn't want kids.’ He teased.
Carly made a wry face. ‘I don't want six.’ She stressed, making him chuckle. ‘I think that’s a little more than I can handle. I don't know... maybe three?’
‘Give me four and I’ll change all the diapers.’ He promised.
‘Right... sure you will!’ She laughed in turn, taking his hand between to press it against her cheek. ‘ I don't really care how many we have, so long as we do. I want to be able to carry your baby in my arms and watch him grow to be as wonderful as his Papa.’
His thumb stroked her cheek . ‘You will. You’re going to be a wonderful Mum... I just know you will.’
‘I hope so!’ Carly said, a wistful look in those lovely green eyes. ‘Because you’re a great Papa. It’s the one of the things that attracted me most about you.’
‘Oh yeah?’ He was flattered and touched by the admission. ‘ I thought being a father was usually a turn off for women.’
‘Not with this one.’ She smiled wider, still holding his hand. ‘Ever since I can remember I always wanted to have lots of babies.’
‘Well, you will have them... a whole bunch of Nobel Prize winning doctors.’
‘Yeah and maybe a few leather wearing, motorcycle riding...’
‘Oh, come here you!’ Laughing, he pulled her closer towards him and she nestled in his arms. Pressing his lips against her hair, he said softly, ‘I want you to know something, princess. You and I are going to have everything we want.’
She’d been his princess, the princess of his heart... who was now living as someone else because of him. Bo sighed and shook his head; for the first time in years thinking of what could have been, if Carly had been the mother of his three other children.... especially Zack.
Meanwhile, Clarice, after kicking a front wheel of the car in disgust, went back to the bar for help.