I said, “No one has to know what we do”
His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room
And his voice is a familiar sound
Nothing lasts forever but this is getting good now
He’s so tall and handsome as hell
He’s so bad but he does it so well
And when we’ve had our very last kiss
My last request it is
Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress
Staring at the sunset, babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again
Even if it’s just in your wildest dreams, ah-ha
Wildest dreams, ah-ha
Wildest Dreams, Taylor Swift
Marlena’s eyes fluttered open, and she found herself staring into the honeyed brown of Bo’s eyes.
“Mornin’” he greeted her with an irrepressible smile.
“Morning,” she stretched languidly next to him, easing the stiffness out of her muscles. He pushed a lock of hair out of her eyes, and she grinned happily.
“Sleep well?” he inched closer to her, wanting to smell her scent and feel the warmth of her skin next to his. He had woken this morning expecting to find that he had simply dreamed last night. But after several moments, all his senses had registered her presence and he had opened his eyes to find her sleeping next to him. He had spent the following half hour just staring at her, trying to make the most of this sinfully sensual development.
“I slept *wonderfully*,” she replied truthfully. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt this relaxed, or this satisfied.
“Well,” Bo lightly ran his fingers down her arm, watching the way they left gooseflesh in their wake, “I think…”
His words were cut off by the shrill ring of the phone and Marlena rolled her eyes as she reached over to pick up the receiver.
“Hello?” she put her finger gently to Bo’s lips to ensure he didn’t say anything and give himself away to the caller on the other end. Bo nodded and lay back on his pillow, watching her as she talked.
It was Abe on the line, and he told her he needed to see her. What’s more, he would be around in fifteen minutes. Bo listened as Marlena tried to put Abe off, she was obviously more interested in spending the day engaged in *other* activities, but he insisted it was important. Eventually Marlena put down the phone and turned to Bo.
“It looks like we’re going to have company,” she said regretfully.
“I’m sure that I can hold out,” Bo told her with a sly grin, “just don’t make any plans for the rest of the day, okay?”
“Mmmmm, are you propositioning me Bo Brady?” she asked in a throaty voice.
“You bet,” he grinned again and reached out with his index finger, skimming it over her bruised and swollen lips. She tried to repress her smile, but he drew it out as he dusted her nose with a light kiss.
“Mmmmm-hmmm,” she sighed as she ran her fingers admiringly over his chest. “I’m going to have to try and get rid of Abe *quickly*.”
“Why don’t you,” he pulled her hand away from him and drew it up to his lips, planting a kiss in her palm, “hold that thought.” He threw the covers and ushered her out of the bed.
As she showered and got dressed, Marlena was somewhere between delighted and horrified to find that her neck was a mass of bruises from Bo’s vigorous assault the previous night. In return, she hadn’t been quite as brutal. Although he did have a couple of tell-tale marks, they were under the collar of his shirt and easy enough to hide discretely. She, however, was reduced to wearing a scarf around her neck and tucked into the front of her white shirt, to hide the hickies. Still, Bo teased her mercilessly as they made their way down the stairs and she made a silent vow that she would pay him back in kind, and soon.
Their timing was impeccable, Abe ringing the doorbell just as the kettle boiled. Marlena opened the door and invited him in, urging him to sit down and Abe was more than surprised to see Bo emerge from the kitchen, carrying a tray of tea.
“Bo came around to see how I was doing now that John has gone,” Marlena said by way of explanation. It wasn’t strictly a lie, after all.
Abe looked at her, and then at Bo, his expression betraying the fact that he was suspicious. He knew Marlena well; he’d known her for more years than he cared to remember, and he’d known her when she was married to Roman and then John. He’d interrupted them too many times not to know that ‘freshly-fucked’ look. There was something going on here and it was more than a friendly, brotherly visit. But really, he couldn’t dwell on that now. He was here for a reason, and it wasn’t going to be a pleasant conversation.
Taking a cup of tea from Bo, he turned to Marlena and began to tell her of the events of the previous evening.
Marlena’s face paled as Abe grimly told her what had happened when Roman had confronted Kate with the truth he had learned about Franco’s murder, how Sami could not have pulled the trigger that fired the fatal shot. She would have had to have gunpowder residue on her hands for that and the belated test results revealed that she did not. Instead, Roman surmised, it was Kate’s own son, Lucas that had killed Franco when he threatened Kate. In desperation, the unhinged woman had pulled a gun on him, warning him to stay away from her family.
Roman, furious that she would let *his* daughter go to jail, or possibly even to the gas chamber for a crime Kate’s son had committed, had reached for the gun. But Kate had been faster, and she had fired, at point blank range. Roman had been rushed to hospital but his wounds were horrific, and he had lost too much blood. He had died in theatre several hours ago.
Marlena gasped in horror when Abe told her, and Bo was quick enough to catch her cup before she dropped it on the ground. He slipped behind her on the sofa and took her hand discretely in his as Abe continued.
“That’s not all, Marlena.” He frowned and looked down at his own cup. It had been too weird for him to comprehend at first. But then, this was Salem and Stefano, and the ISA were both involved. He guessed anything was possible.
“What more could there possibly be?” Marlena didn’t know if she could cope with anything else.
“Marlena, when they were doing the autopsy,” Abe paused and looked up at Bo. He looked almost as distressed as Marlena. Maybe it was as well that they were both here when he told them. “Well, they came across something. Marlena,” he put his cup back on the table, “that man wasn’t Roman. There was no way he could possibly *be* Roman.”
“What do you mean?” Marlena’s voice was strained, and her eyes bore into him. “How could he not be Roman? Shane *told* us he was Roman. There was no doubt.”
“Shane was misinformed,” Abe said as gently as he could. “I don’t know what kind of game they are playing, but that man that died tonight was not Roman. He was an imposter.”
“Why? What?” she was desperately searching for words, and she was grateful for Bo’s solid presence behind her.
“I don’t know,” Abe sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “What I do know was when they did an autopsy, they found that he had some sort of computer chip implanted in his brainstem.”
“Abe this is *insane*,” Bo finally spoke, putting voice to the thoughts that had been running through both his and Marlena’s minds. “How the hell are we supposed to believe them *this* time? These people are playing games with our lives. How are we supposed to believe anything they say?”
Marlena was simply stunned, and she leaned against Bo for support without even knowing it. He slid his arm around her and held her as she looked at Abe again.
“Well, if *he’s* not Roman then….”
“I’m so sorry Marlena,” Abe shook his head, his eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep and grief. “It *was* his body we buried last year.”
“So, all this time…” she shook her head, her eyes burning brightly. “Is this someone’s idea of a sick joke?”
“I wish I knew,” Abe was exhausted, this was taking its toll on him too, mentally and emotionally. He had been awake almost all night and he couldn’t see himself getting to bed any time soon.
“Do Mom and Pop know?” Bo asked suddenly.
“Yes,” Abe nodded, “I called on them as soon as we found out. They tried to call *you*, but they didn’t get any answer.”
“We should go to them,” Marlena’s reaction was immediate, completely ignoring Abe’s intimation. She had nothing to feel guilty about, after all.
“Do you feel up to it?” Bo squeezed her hand.
“I’ll be fine,” she managed a watery smile. “I need to make sure they are all right.”
“Yeah,” Bo nodded. “I think we should.”
They said their goodbyes to Abe, thanking him for coming over to break the news and ushered him out of the apartment. Marlena closed the door behind her and turned back to Bo, her eyes filled with tears. She didn’t say anything, just shook her head and Bo caught her up in his arms, hugging her to him with passionate grief. He was just as devastated as she was and they clung together, both crying, for what seemed like endless moments.
Finally, Marlena pulled back and brushed at her cheeks with the back of her hand.
“I’m sorry Marlena,” he shook his head in disbelief.
“So am I,” she said softly as she wiped his tears away gently with her fingers. “We both loved him, and we both wanted him back so badly. It’s easy to believe when you *want* to believe.”
Bo looked down at her and her shimmering hazel eyes made his heart ache.
“I think we’ve both been guilty of being blind to the truth for too long now,” he said softly. “About a lot of things.” Marlena nodded and wrapped her arms around his neck, resting her head against his chest while she tried to gather herself.
It was an hour or so later that they finally made it to the pub, where the family gathered, wrapped in a numb, heavy silence. If they were surprised when Bo and Marlena entered together, they didn’t show it. They just stood to welcome and hug their family.
“Caroline, I’m so sorry,” Marlena shook her head, tears filling her eyes again.
“It seems too cruel to be true,” Caroline shook her head, “but then I don’t know why I expect anything else from the DiMera’s.”
“I don’t know why we weren’t more damn suspicious from the start!” Shawn shook his head frustratedly. He had had more than enough of his family being torn apart.
“I don’t have any answers,” Marlena sank into a chair and shook her head defeatedly. “I really don’t.” Carrie frowned and covered her stepmother’s hands with her own, sealing a temporary truce between them.
“I’m sorry Marlena,” she said softly.
“So am I, honey,” she nodded with a small smile.
Caroline looked around in confusion and then turned to Marlena.
“Where’s John, dear?” she asked. “I would have thought he’d be here.”
“Well, you *would* think so wouldn’t you,” Marlena said, a mite bitterly. “But no, apparently John has *better* things to do than spend time with a family that needs him. He’s somewhere in *Europe* searching for *his* past. I guess he didn’t feel it was necessary to inform me that he was going since we’re not together anymore.”
“You split up?” Caroline was shocked. “And he left for Europe without telling you?” Could this day possibly get any worse?
“Correction Mom, he left for Europe *with* Hope. And Greta.” Bo corrected as he sat down in the chair next to Marlena.
“With *Hope*?” Kimberley looked horrified, having seen the way that Hope was looking at John just a couple of days earlier. Bo shrugged. “Don’t ask me, sis. All I know is John and Greta came over and Hope was only too happy to leave. I wasn’t invited and nothing I could say would stop her.”
“Oh Bo,” Caroline shook her head as Bo’s meaning became clear. As far as he was concerned, it was over between him and Hope.
“Hey well, I guess I kinda brought it on myself huh?” Bo tried to be philosophical about the situation. “But I can’t understand John. He always adored Marlena. Nothing was more important to him.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” Marlena looked mildly surprised. “Actually, stepping back from the situation has made me realize that the only thing that is *truly* important to John, is *John*.”
“Oh, now Marlena, you know that’s not true,” Shawn’s tone was mildly admonishing.
“Isn’t it?” Marlena looked annoyed. “Oh, his words are all very convincing, but his actions have spoken louder time and time again Shawn. And I am tired of seeing my children hurt every time their father puts something or some*one* else in front of them. John can do anything he wants to as far as I’m concerned, as long as he doesn’t expect me to be there when he comes home.” She looked around at the gathered faces and broke into a smile.
“Oh, come on. It’s not that bad. Anyone would think this is the end of the world.”
“Well, it’s been rather a few shocks for everyone,” Caroline said slowly.
“I know,” Marlena nodded her head. “I’m so sorry about Roman. I can’t even begin to tell you.” She looked thoughtful. “But one good thing has come out of this mess. That man, the one who we thought was Roman, he managed to prove Sami’s innocence, and that’s some *wonderful* news to celebrate.” She looked around the pub. “Where *is* Sami?”
“Austin has taken her to pick up Will,” Carrie said with a smile.
“We thought we might plan a celebration for her, but in light of all this bad news,” Caroline frowned.
“Oh, please don’t let John’s disappearance stop you,” Marlena replied earnestly.
“Or Hope’s,” Bo had a nasty suspicion where this might be going.
“No, no, no,” Shawn shook his head determinedly, “we couldn’t celebrate while the two of you are going through such a terrible time. Maybe in a few days John and Hope will be back and we can celebrate *everyone’s* return.”
“I don’t think so,” Marlena said in a low voice.
“In the meantime, I think you and Shawn-D should come and stay with us for a few days,” Caroline told Bo.
“No Mom,” Bo shook his head, “we’ll be just fine on the boat.
“Bo, I think that boat holds far too many memories of hope for you right now. I think you would be much better off here with your family to keep you company.”
“Mom I,” he looked helplessly at Marlena.
“That sounds like a great idea,” Carrie interrupted, “and Marlena, Sami and I will come and stay with you for a while and help with the kids. At least until you get back on your feet emotionally again.”
“Sweetie, that’s really not necessary,” Marlena tried to argue, “I’ve been just fine for the last week….”
“No, I insist.” Carrie wasn’t going to take no for an answer. This was her way to make it up to Marlena for being such an ungrateful brat the past few months and she wasn’t about to let Marlena’s ‘do it alone’ attitude win out. “It’s the least Sami and I can do after everything you’ve done for us.”
Marlena’s eyes flicked to Bo’s, and they were met with a similar expression. They were doomed. The suffocating Brady do-gooders were going to put paid to any ideas of seeing each other. For a while at least.
“Okay,” they finally nodded in unison.
“Good,” Caroline nodded in satisfaction, totally missing any undercurrent between her son and his sister-in-law. The only one to pick up on it was Abe, who stood at the doorway. After this morning, he had a very good idea what Bo had been doing at the penthouse, and he wasn’t at all sure how he felt about it.
The Brady family spent most of the day in the pub, talking, reminiscing and enjoying each other’s company. At odd moments, Marlena would feel Bo’s hand on her knee, or his fingers entwine with hers under the table and she wouldn’t be able to help the thrill that ran through her. Just his touch and the way he laughed was enough to make her want him, but whenever she thought of last night, she almost squirmed in her seat.
Shawn was blathering on about something completely uninteresting when Marlena couldn’t resist it any longer. Carefully and unobtrusively, she ran her fingers up the inside of Bo’s thigh. She smiled, ostensibly at Shawn’s boring story, but more at the fact that Bo’s face was slowly warming to a delicate shade of pink as she let her fingers wander over the hard bulge in his jeans. She couldn’t help the grin as she realized he was just as frustrated at the situation.
Bo carefully removed her hand before turning and glaring at her. With a sweet smile, she excused herself with the reason that she needed to use the ladies. She had been gone several moments when Bo suddenly realized he needed something in the kitchen. The rest of the family barely noticed his exit.
“Oh, I thought you’d never come,” Marlena murmured as he pushed her up against the fridge.
“If you carry on like that,” he pressed himself up against her and she could feel how much he wanted her. “Me coming is going to be the least of our worries.”
He took her mouth ferociously, crushing and biting her lips as his tongue plundered the inside of her mouth. His hands slipped behind her buttocks, and she could feel him moving against her. Moaning against his mouth, she returned his kisses with equal passion, wanting to get as much of him as she could, barely thinking about the consequences. Her fingers rifled through his hair and his day-old stubble was rough against her own, smooth skin.
With an alert ear, Bo heard footsteps nearing the kitchen and he pushed himself back from Marlena just before the door opened. Bringing his hand up to her face, he pretended to look in one eye, praying that she had the presence of mind to go along with him.
“Nope, that must have gotten it.”
“Thanks Bo,” she nodded, her heart pounding. “It’s feeling better already.”
Bo turned around to see Kimberley staring at them.
“Marlena had something in her eye,” he said glibly, by way of explanation.
“Uh-huh,” Kim didn’t look exactly convinced. Neither of them looked particularly guilty, but Marlena’s mouth did look suspiciously red.
“Thanks Bo,” Marlena could barely suppress her smile as Bo looked increasingly uncomfortable.
“No problem,” Bo watched her walk out of the kitchen, the way her behind swayed making him distinctly uncomfortable.
“Well, I’d better get back in there too,” he tried to elude Kim.
“Not so fast little brother,” Kim blocked his way to the pub. “Would you mind telling me what *that* was all about?”
“What, what?” Bo played innocent.
“You and Marlena,” Kim had her hands on her hips.
“She had something in her eye, and I got it out for her.” It wasn’t that Bo really felt like he had anything to hide. It was just that he knew that his family would probably feel uncomfortable about this so soon after John and Hope’s departure, and he didn’t really want them giving Marlena a hard time. And after all, there might be nothing for them to know in a few days. Once they got this out of their systems, whatever it was, they might go right back to their old familial relationship. Or maybe not. He didn’t know whether this was going anywhere, he knew it just felt good right now.
“Oh, come on Bo. I’m not stupid,” Kim frowned. “I don’t know what’s going on between the two of you, but it looks like a dangerous game you’re playing. Someone will end up getting hurt, and I don’t want it to be Mom and Pop.”
“No one is going to get hurt, sis,” Bo said softly. “It is really our business, but if it would make you happier, I’ll try and be a little more discreet.”
“Just….. be careful okay?” Kim sighed. Of course, Bo was right. It *was* his and Marlena’s business. She might be able to appeal to Marlena’s sense of propriety, but Bo was going to do whatever it was that Bo wanted to do, she knew that. But it was just such a potential minefield, given the family history.
“Always,” Bo smiled and pecked her on the cheek before exiting back to the pub.
Back at the table, one look at his face told Marlena that Kim hadn’t been fooled and that they would have to be more careful from now on.