‘Come in,’ Bo said without looking up from the file he was intently studying.
The door opened and slammed shut loudly, causing him to look up; startled.
Frankie Brady stood there; his bluish black eyes blazing with anger. ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing, Bo?’
Bo put the file down and stood up. ‘Frankie. We’ve been trying to reach you for a very long time.’
‘From the amount of messages on my answering machine; I figured.’ Frankie said coldly. ‘Plus a phone call from Emil Standish informing me my sister is in Salem; on loan from the ISA. And I’m willing to guess it was by your request. What are you doing?’
‘Before I answer your question, Frank; why didn’t you tell me what happened to Carly in the first place? What was that about?’
Frankie scoffed. ‘Would you have cared? You handed Carly over to that bastard in the first place and in a matter of months, you forgot her! You never even told Hope about her; as far as she’s concerned, it was Billie who made you whole again while she was gone!’
‘Well, we both know that’s not true. And I never forgot Carly.’ Bo replied, anger in his voice. ‘Letting her go was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. But Larry brainwashed her; by the time she got out the amnesia it was too late for us. I let her go because I loved her. But it was too hard for me to picture her being a family with him and Nicky; you should know how it is! That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to think of her for years. Now pull a chair and sit down, we need to talk about this rationally.’
Frankie hesitated then reluctantly did as he was told. Bo sank back into his chair, looking at Carly’s brother intently. ‘One more question before I answer yours. Shane told us the doctors made Carly believe she survived a terrible accident when they couldn’t help her. But they did more than that, didn’t they?’
Frankie was silent for a few seconds then quietly replied, ‘They implanted false memories into her mind. You got to understand Bo; she’d been through a lot of trauma and the last thing we wanted was Lawrence finding out she was still alive. And that would have happened if we had told her who she really was; she would have fought for custody of Nicky or go back to Alamania for him. I wasn’t around to help my sister but no way was I going to allow Lawrence touch her again. As far as she’s concerned, she’s an orphan who lost her family as a child and was left money. I couldn’t be in her life but Standish’s been looking out for her for me. Now I find out she’s here and you’re endangering her by keeping her here.’
‘I’m trying to help her get her life back, Frank. Once we got the whole story; Roman and I decided we couldn’t let her go on as Clarice Parker. She has a right to know who she really is.’
‘So that’s all there is, you just want to help her.’ Frankie said disbelievingly. ‘And how does Hope feel about you helping out your ex fiancée?’
‘She doesn’t know Carly’s my ex and she’s not an issue anyway. We’re divorced now.’
Frankie couldn’t believe what he was hearing. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. You and Hope?’
Bo raised his hands. ‘We were having a lot of problems before Carly came back. Hope moved out with Ciara and I tried to fix things; I really did. And then… Carly and I fell in love all over again and before you say anything,’ he hastily added seeing Frankie’s staggered look, ‘it’s not a rebound from Hope. It was a force bigger than the both of us and it’s real. It really is. It’s not just about helping her now. She’s back in my life and she’s never leaving it again. I love her Frankie and she loves me.’
Frankie sank back into his chair, overwhelmed. ‘My God…’ he said at last.
‘She’s not in danger.’ Bo assured him. ‘Now she’s got me and Roman to protect her. And she’s starting to remember a few things; they’re foggy right now but in time, she’s going to remember more and I’ll fill the blanks as they come. And you must do the same thing, as her brother.’
‘But what about Larry? Somehow he’s going to find out she’s here.’ Frankie said worriedly.
‘He comes near her, I’ll kill him.’ Bo’s voice was now hard and ominous. ‘And as for Nicky; he doesn’t have to know his mother’s alive just yet. Once Carly gets her memory back, she’ll decide whether or not to call him. Lord knows what that son of a bitch even told him about her.’
‘If I know Larry; a load of crap enough to turn him against her- just like Vivian did.’ Frankie said sullenly. ‘I hate them so much. And I hate my father for handing my sister over to him in the first place. That was the worst part about being Francois and Katarina Von Leuschner, Bo. The only thing our parents could give us was money and expected nothing from us but marry into yet more money.’ He sighed. ‘I’m really sorry I didn’t tell you about what happened to Carly. I just kept looking at you and Hope and thought you wouldn’t want to help her. I guess I misjudged you.’
‘Pretty much but it’s okay.’ Bo smiled. ‘And after she regains her memory and gets her life back, I’m going to ask her to marry me.’
Frankie chuckled softly. ‘For real? Wow… it is serious. But you are going to tell Hope right? I don’t want Carly having problems with her.’
‘Soon, Frankie; I promise. I’m going to handle things my way.’
Frankie shrugged his shoulders in defeat. ‘Well… I guess I have to trust you. Where is Carly anyway?’
‘She’s out with Roman on a case.’
Frankie shook his head in exasperation.
‘I know… I don’t like her being in law enforcement either. She’s more than capable but she doesn’t belong here. She’ll get her memory back, in time.’
‘I pray she will. Lord knows nothing the doctors did worked. When can I see her?’
‘Meet us at Mum’s place tonight; I’ll bring her over.’
‘Great.’ Frankie gave Bo a hug, very grateful for him now that his anger was gone. He was still worried about his sister’s safety but he didn’t doubt Bo and Roman’s capability of protecting her. ‘I’m only in town for a day; I have to fly back to D.C very soon.’
‘We’ll see you tonight then. And please remember not to call her Carly.’
‘You got it.’
Carly looked at Frankie intently as Bo introduced them. Caroline and Roman watched, bracing themselves; wondering if she would recognize her brother.
‘Pleased to meet you, Frankie.’ She said at last. ‘I have a huge feeling we’re going to be very close friends.’ She smiled wider, her hand still holding his. ‘Funny… I already feel so close to you.’
Bo looked at Caroline and Roman over her head. A good sign at least.
Frankie’s warm smile hid his frustration but he was very glad to see his sister. With Bo and Roman around, Standish didn’t have to keep tabs on her on his behalf from now on and he could now visit her often; as Bo and Roman’s younger brother.
All through dinner, Carly and Frankie couldn’t stop chatting with each other; there was playful banter and to Bo’s amusement and delight, Carly uncannily kept finishing Frankie’s sentences.
‘It’s a real treat meeting you, Frankie.’ Carly said when it was time for her and Bo to leave. ‘It’s a shame you’re flying back so soon. When will we see you again?’
‘More often from now on.’ Frankie hugged her close. ‘It was great meeting you too. And I’m happy for you and Bo.’
Carly turned to smile lovingly at Bo. ‘I’m happy too.’
As she walked through the door after kissing Roman and Caroline goodnight; Frankie gripped Bo’s shoulder. ‘Take great care of her, Bo. Please, don’t let anything happen to her again.’
‘I promise, don’t you worry.’ Bo assured him gruffly.
‘We all will, son.’ Caroline added as Roman patted his back.
‘I like your brother very much.’ Carly said as she sat on the bed and removed her shoes. ‘We really clicked.’
‘You sure seemed to have a lot in common with him.’ Bo said, washing his hands in the adjoining bathroom and drying them with a towel.
Carly looked at him with amusement as he stepped out. ‘Are you jealous?’
Bo scoffed. ‘Please…’
‘Not even a little bit?’ she asked, getting up to slid her arms round his waist.
‘Would you prefer if I was, you minx?’ Bo teased, pulling her against him.
Carly laughed. ‘Seriously, Frankie’s really sweet and we’re so in tune. Don’t get me wrong, I love Roman but there’s just something about Frankie.’
It’s that damn déjà vu again; at least that’s what it was to her. The memory wasn’t yet in place but the natural connection was; just like the connection she had with him that led to them being together again. A matter of time, Bo reminded himself. Just a matter of time.
‘Well, he liked you too; in fact he gave a quick remark about how lucky I am. And I agree with him, a hundred percent.’ He cupped her face and kissed her lingeringly. Carly’s lips parted eagerly for him, her arms moving up to encircle his neck, pressing herself against him and feeling his instant reaction. He kissed down her neck, his warm breath over her as he unbuttoned her shirt and peeled it off her.
‘Definitely a hundred percent.’ Bo grinned at her, his voice husky as he walked her backwards to the bed.
Carly grinned back.
Bo pushed her onto the bed and then started taking off his shirt. He stopped, noticing an odd expression on her face, a rather petrified expression. ‘Clarice, what’s wrong?’
A shadowy figure roughly pushing her on a bed, pinning her down… ripping her clothes and she was kicking out, struggling, screaming…
‘Princess,’ Bo said urgently, moving close to her. ‘What’s wrong, did I do something…?’ He stroked her cheek.
‘No!’ Carly shrieked, scrambling away from his touch in terror.
Bo stared at her, unsure of what to do.
Clarice rubbed her head with her hands; confused and shaken. What the hell was wrong with her and what was the meaning of that unexpected vision? She turned away to bury her face into a pillow, taking deep breaths.
Bo joined her on the bed, upset the latest flash of memory made her scared of him. ‘Clarice?’ he touched her hair cautiously. ‘Are you okay? Talk to me please.’
Carly didn’t raise her head until she sensed the strange sense of terror leaving her. Feeling better she turned to face Bo who was looking so anxious and concerned that it wrung her heart. She sat up and slipped her arms round him and he held her tightly, pressing his lips against her forehead.
‘I’m sorry,’ she murmured. ‘I don’t know what came over me.’
‘It’s alright,’ Bo stroked her hair, wishing happier past events would come to her instead of visions of Lawrence abusing her. It must have been the way he pushed her onto the bed that triggered it. ‘What was that?’ he asked tentatively.
‘I don’t know.’ Carly pulled away to look at him, confused and still rather shaken. ‘I… I saw something in my head just now… something or someone evil. A premonition I think.’
Bo of course knew otherwise. ‘You don’t honestly think I would ever do anything to hurt you.’
‘No, no…of course not,’ She hugged him again, basking in his manly strength and immediately feeling safe and warm again. He always made her feel that way. ‘I know you, Bo Brady. You’re the last person that could ever hurt me.’
‘I’m glad you know that, princess.’ Bo replied quietly, relieved by her words. Goddamn Lawrence Alamain! If he ever showed up in Salem to come after Carly, he will kill him dead; kill him with his bare hands.
Feeling better, Carly began kissing Bo again. Wrapping his arms round her, his mouth devoured hers in a drugging kiss; his hands feverishly exploring her breasts before lowering her onto the bed, gently this time. Kissing his way down her body, he unbuckled and pulled her jeans off her legs. As he slipped from her arms to take off his pants, she sat up to take off her tank top and bra; their eyes locked with each other. Bo saw the woman he loved, beautiful and sensually feminine. Clarice saw a handsome, very macho man she was absolutely crazy about and completely in sync with. No way was he capable of harming her so was that sudden episode all about?
Pushing it aside, she held out her arms to him. Bo rejoined her, taking her in his arms. As much as he wanted her to remember more, he also didn’t want her getting more flashes of Lawrence hurting her. So he rolled onto his back, lifting her and guided her down to him. Gasping against his lips, she moved on him, trembling with intense pleasure as they moved together.
Bo gripped her hips, loving her fiercely and basking in their mutual blazing passion; planting kisses on her mouth and against her neck, the urgency in him mounting as their bodies moved together in a sweet, driving frenzy and finally, after spasms of their culmination shook them, Carly collapsed against him; both panting heavily in fulfillment. She pressed her face against his neck and he held her tightly, rubbing her back and turned his head to kiss her on the forehead. They lay in silence, content and warm against each other.
‘Do you believe in past lives?’ she asked, her finger tips running over his hair roughened chest.
‘Never thought much about that subject; why?’ he replied, stroking her hair.
‘I keep going back to the night we met. How I felt so connected to you the moment I saw you. And after that, it felt like I’ve always known you.’ Moving her head up, she peered at him. ‘Every time you smiled at me I found myself more in love with you. Every time you touch me, I always feel so safe in a way I’ve never felt before. If there’s really a thing like a past life; I think we were in love, just like this.’ She smiled, reaching up to stroke his jaw.
Bo smiled back at her, wishing he could tell her they were together so many years ago. ‘Well maybe we do have past lives, princess. Or it’s just the plain old déjà vu you keep having.’
Carly’s mind went back to Frankie. She’d felt connected with him immediately; just as if she’d known him all her life too, like a brother. ‘I guess. Like tonight with your brother… completely in synch with him, like I am with you, just not the same way. Come to think of it…’ she resumed rubbing his chest, toying with his medallion. ‘The time I’ve spent here, with you and with your family; I realized my career and going on missions just masked how lonely I really was.’ She looked up at him again. ‘You’re my missing other half, Bo Brady. Déjà vu or past life… I can’t imagine my life without you.’
‘Neither can I.’ Bo whispered back, turning round towards her and she was lying beneath him. ‘I love you so much, Clarice Parker. And I promise you; no one’s ever going to take you away from me.’ Not a second time. Let that bastard come; I’ll be ready for him.
Carly sensed something odd in his tone but before she could ask him, his lips were on hers; his hands caressing her soft skin. Her arms encircled his neck as she eagerly responded to his touch; parting her legs when she felt his knee slide between them and they made love again.
She was standing beside a bed brushing her hair, dressed in a robe. She was younger, maybe in her twenties. And then she heard a deep voice behind her.
‘She walks in beauty, like the night; of cloudless climes and starry skies…
And all that’s best of dark and bright,’
She turned, smiling at whoever was talking to her.
‘Meet in her aspect and her eyes,’ he continued, ‘thus mellowed to that tender light, which heaven to gaudy day denies.’
She moved to him. He had dark hair and was dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. He took in his arms and she raised her eyes to see his face…
She jerked awake at the sound of thunder. She sat up, clutching the sheet to her chest, watching Bo as he closed the windows. ‘Wow… looks like a storm’s brewing.’ He said. ‘There it is,’ he added as the rain began to pour.
Carly felt aggravated at the lousy timing; she was so close seeing who the mysterious stranger was, certain it was the same man with the tattoo she kept seeing in her dreams. It was all so mysterious; the dreams, the man, the premonition. What exactly was wrong with her?
Bo closed the curtains and climbed back into bed beside her, pulling her down to cradle her head against his chest. And once again, as she nestled close to her lover, feeling his arms round her; she felt her frustration ebbing away. Bo always made her feel better; always. She loved the man so much.
The thunder rolled yet again and the rain poured harder. Spooned against Bo, Carly slept peacefully. And began dreaming again…
A man was kneeling in front of her… unbuttoning her blouse. Again she couldn’t see his face but she was stroking his cheek. Slowly he got to his feet, peeling it off her. A tattoo on his back… but again she couldn't see clearly… they were making out in a dimly lit room… or was it a room? Lightning was flashing against… a pothole. They were in a cabin… on a boat!
Carly squirmed under Bo’s arms, hoping to see more. But the dream faded and she was back to a dreamless sleep.