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Chapter 68: "A once-in-a-lifetime love."

"What do you think they're talking about out there?" Marlena asked. She wondered if Kim was suspicious about Andrew's job.

"Oh, Andrew's probably showing off his motorcycle.   You know how it is.  Boys and their toys and all that."  She shook her head.  "He's almost as bad as Bo when it comes to that thing."

Marlena struggled not to tell Kim what was really going on.  She had promised John that she would not reveal the truth about Andrew, but she hated deceiving her close friend.  "By the way, did you talk to Bo?"

"Do you mean, did I find out that he's a match?" Kim said with a laugh.  "You could have told me.  He made me think it was bad news and I wound up pissing off half the chemo room when I found out he was joking."

"Sorry."  Marlena knew her tone hardly said she was sorry.  She had a hard time picturing Kim ever being mad at Bo.

Kim smiled.  "Yeah, I know.  I'm a pushover when it comes to him."  She sighed.  "Now if only he would listen to reason."

"You mean about Hope?"  Marlena had an idea where the conversation was going.

"Yes, about Hope," Kim said.  "But that brother of mine is so stubborn sometimes that he won't see what's right in front of him."

"Or maybe he sees it and it's not what he wants at this point in his life."  Marlena knew that would not go over well.  Neither would this.  "And maybe Carly is better for him now."

"Look. . ."  Kim waved a hand dismissively.  "I don't have anything against Carly, but we're talking about Bo and Hope.  They have something special, a once-in-a-lifetime love."

"People said that about Roman and me," Marlena said.  "And I know plenty of us said the same thing about you and Shane."

"Let's not rehash that subject, Marlena."  Kim shook her head.  "Besides, it's different with Bo and Hope.  They've been in love for more than 25 years.  You can't say that's the same about me and Shane."

Silently, Marlena thought that she definitely could, but she chose to keep that thought to herself.  "Well, you'll have Bo here for some time.  You can work on convincing him, but just be careful.  You don't want to push him away."

"I know.  I know.  If Bo takes a stance, it takes a crowbar to move him."

"More like a wrecking ball," Marlena said.

"You must be talking about Bo," John said as he and Andrew entered the living room.

Marlena chided him.  "We could've just as easily been talking about the two of you.  Did you have fun?"

"That's one hell of a bike out there."  John crossed the room so he was standing behind Marlena on the other side of her chair.  He knelt down and kissed her cheek.

"Don't even think about it."  Her warning was clear, even though her tone was humorous.  "I just got you out of a hospital."

"Not even for a spin around the colony?"

"I wouldn't argue with her," Andrew said.  "When the boss speaks, she really puts her foot down."

"Hey."  John looked over at him.  "If I wanted comments from the peanut gallery, I'd have asked for them.  Now on a more serious note, I'm heading out tomorrow."          

Marlena felt her stomach clench.  "Tomorrow?  Can't you stay just a few more days?"

He wrapped his arms around her.  "I know you don't want me to go, Doc, but everything seems pretty settled here, and Bo's coming soon."

"And I'm sure he'll have my mom in tow," Kim said.

"And Caroline will be here," John echoed.  "I really need to follow this lead.  I should've done it already."  Marlena could detect an undertone in his voice, something she doubted Kim or Andrew could hear.  He wanted to say that, if Shane was in danger, his time might be running out.

She knew that might be true, but she still hated the idea of John going back into the ISA's lion's den.  She had just gotten him back to health.  Of course, none of that would stop him.  That was John.

Marlena felt John's arms grip her tighter and he kissed her cheek again.  Then he whispered in her ear, "Nothing's gonna happen to me, Doc.  It's just a lead to check.  I'll be back before you even know I'm gone."