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Chapter 93: Ancient History

Jeannie carried a cup of espresso into the living room and took a seat on the couch next to her Uncle Bo. Everyone else in the family seemed to prefer tea, but Jeannie preferred the caffeine jolt of the coffee.  Besides, drinking coffee was another way that Jeannie stood out from everyone else.

She glanced toward the kitchen.  Her grandmother was chopping vegetables, while Shivaughn and Andrew played sous chefs.  Shivaughn had offered to help, after assuring Caroline that she had extensive experience with knives at her parents' restaurant.  Andrew quickly followed, though Jeannie suspected his pile of vegetables was pretty much where it was when he started.  Instead, he was engaged in a quite animated discussion with Shivaughn from the opposite side of the island.

"So, counselor," Bo said in the same way he teased everyone else in the family with his silly nicknames.  "How is the ivory tower these days?"

Jeannie smiled.  "It's fine.  Exams are coming up a few weeks after we get back, but I think I'll do fine."

"If I know you, you're going to kick everyone's butts."  Bo said, with a knowing look.  He turned to Kimberly, who was sitting in a chair next to Marlena.  "Hey, Sis, tell me how your kids are going to Cambridge and Yale, while I've got Shawn Douglas sailing around the world?"

"I'm not touching that one," Kim said.  She took a sip of her tea and then looked at her cup.  "Not for all the tea in China, which is pretty apropos at the moment."

"It's because they have a mom who uses words like 'apropos,'" Bo teased.  "I'll remember that around Ciara."

"You'll also have to be a slave driver."  Jeannie added a wink at her mom, so she would know it was just a joke.

Bo and Marlena chuckled, while Kim raised a mock protest.  "Only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., but she got a break at noon."

This felt good, Jeannie thought.  Being away at school meant that she rarely got to spend time with her relatives, and she appreciated that they respected her.  And considering the joking banter, it was hard to imagine that everyone was here because her mother would be having surgery in just a few days.

"So what does a genius law student do outside of school?" Bo asked.

"Not much," Jeannie said.  "Between classes, reading and writing papers, there isn't much time to do anything.  I do hit the gym, though."

"She means that literally," Shivaughn said coming into the room.  "She's a regular Mike Tyson with a punching bag."

"Now that I'd like to see," Bo said.  Then he grinned, "And guys?"

"Uncle Bo!" Jeannie coughed up a mouthful of espresso.  "I'm not discussing my personal life."  She looked at Shivaugn.  "And don't you say a word.  I'm sure there are probably still some potatoes to peel."

"I had to escape your brother," she said, plopping down in an empty chair.  "He's trying to convince me that rugby is better than football.  Or, as he says, 'that rubbish you yanks call football.'"

"Don't get him started," Bo said.  "I've been having that debate with Andy since he was--"  He looked at Kim.  "How old was Andy when he started school in England?"

"Twelve," she replied.

"Since he was twelve."  Bo was still grinning.  "But Andy's not the subject of this conversation.  You are, and you still haven't answered the question about your social life.  Are there any special men in your life?"

"No," Jeannie said, quite matter-of-factly.  "There are no men, because I don't have time for a relationship.  I'm too focused on school and a relationship would be a distraction."

Bo laughed heartily.  "Now where have I heard that before?"  He gave a knowing glance at Kim, who also was chuckling.

"What's so funny?" Jeannie asked.

"You sounded so much like your father just then," Kim explained.

"Yeah," Bo said.  "He was always talking about love and emotions being a distraction and how we had to rely on logic instead."  Kim and Marlena both nodded at that.  Bo looked at them.  "Hey, do you remember when the Gov'nor took that job -- where was it?  Some place in Europe, I recall."

"Stockholm," Kim said.

Bo looked her, quite seriously.  "I'm not bringing up a sore subject, am I?"

"It's okay, little brother.  I won't break if you talk about Shane."  Kim took another sip of tea, and when Bo still had not continued, she added, "Go on."

"Okay," he said, turning toward Stephanie.  "A few months after your pop came to Salem, he quit the ISA."

"He did?"  Jeannie was incredulous.  "But if he quit, how come--"

"He went back after a few months, but that's beside the point."  Bo seemed to think for a moment, as if he were searching his memory.  "Anyway, while your pop was unemployed, he got an offer to work in Stockholm.  Now anyone with half-a-brain could tell that the Gov'nor was madly in love with your mom, but he wouldn't admit it."

"Well neither would I," Kim added.

"Yeah, but we're talking about Shane right now," Bo said.  "And I'll get to you in a moment.   Anyway, so your pop comes to me and asks about whether he should take the job.  He's weighed the pros and cons, but refuses to admit that he wants to stay in Salem because of Kimber.  Instead, he continued to go on an on about how emotions were a distraction and it was better not to form attachments."

"Well I didn't help matters," Kim said from behind her teacup.  "When he told me about the job, I told him to send a postcard from time to time."

"Now that sounds like you," Bo joked.  "How many times did he go by your apartment to see if you'd tell him he should stay?"

Kim looked up.  "At least three, I think.  Yes, three."

"So you finally did?" Jeannie asked.  She was finding this ancient history rather intriguing.

"Your mom?"  Bo laughed again.  "Not a chance.  She sends the Gov'nor packing and he's on the next flight to Europe."

Bo nodded.  "Not for long, though.  He landed in Stockholm -- and then caught the next flight back.  The rest is, as they say, history."

"Oh come on, Bo," Kim said.  "You're leaving out a key part."  She looked at Jeannie.  "Shane didn't come back to Salem because of me.  He had to come back to testify at Marlena's trial."

Bo looked glum.  "It's more romantic the way I tell it."

Jeannie was a bit lost.  She looked at Marlena.  "What were you on trial for?"

Marlena looked down and sheepishly said, "Murder."

Jeannie felt her eyes go wide.  "You were on trial for murder?  That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

"Yeah, well, she was, but she wasn't convicted," Bo said.  "In fact, it turned out that the 'victim' wasn't even dead.  Though I'm not sure how he managed to survive Marlena shooting him point blank and falling into a raging fire."  At Jeannie's even wider eyes, he shook his head.  "That's not a story for tonight.  Besides, it's not like Marlena's the only Brady woman to stand trial for murder.  It's almost a rite of passage."  He caught Kim's look.  "Uh oh, was I not supposed to mention that?"

Kim responded with a tight-lipped glance that told Jeannie the answer.  "Are you serious?  Mom was on trial for murder?  How come I never knew this."

"Because it was well before you were born," Kim said.  "It's ancient history, and Shane found the real killer.  Twice, actually."

"There were two killers?" Shivaughn asked.

"No."  Kim explained, "There was the woman who gave a deathbed confession and, then, Shane's ISA partner who was obsessed with him and framed me for the crime to get me out of the way.  She was caught the day of our wedding after trying to kill me."

That was a story that Jeannie had never heard, and her jaw dropped.  She started to ask more, but Kim looked at Bo with a knowing glance and said, "But that was pretty typical of a Brady wedding, wasn't it?"

Bo, Kim and Marlena all laughed, then Marlena said, "At least at mine, nobody tried to kill the bride."

"No, but you made up for it with that demonic possession phase.  Plus all the times you and John died in Salem."  Bo looked at Jeannie.  "Did your mom ever tell you about that?"

Jeannie started to respond, but Shivaughn spoke first.  "Sounds like there's something in the water in Salem."  She looked at Jeannie.  "Maybe we should reconsider this summer."