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Chapter 4: Brotherly Love

"Leukemia . . . Wow." Bo Brady knew that had come out wrong, but those were the only words that came into his head.  He looked across his desk to his older brother and saw the same stricken look that he knew was on his own face.  This day was already horrible.  Hope in the hospital, Carly shooting Melanie, and now this.

Kim's voice came through the speaker in Bo's office.  "That's all you can say?  'Wow'?"

Roman reacted first.  "Sis, it's just a shock.  We're both just trying to process it."

"Yeah, Kimber, it's just a lot to take," Bo said.  He felt hollow inside.  Kim had always been the rock that he depended on.  To not have her. . . He couldn't handle that.  "I'm coming out there.  I'll catch the next plane to LA."

"No, Bo, you can't.  You just told me Hope's in the hospital."

Bo felt his face flush and he looked down at his desk.  "It's over between me and Hope."

On the other end of the line, Kim was sitting at her kitchen table, looking out over the Pacific Ocean and wishing she had made a cup of coffee before calling Salem.  She had not slept a wink the night before, as she kept hearing the doctor say "leukemia" over and over and she debsted whether to tell her family. 

"You got that?  It's over."

Kim shook her head.  Sometimes her younger brother was hopeless.  "Don't be so stupid.  We all know that you love Hope; don't throw that away because you're afraid of being hurt."

Bo looked up at Roman, who was leaning against a book case and smirking.  They were both thinking the same thing, and Bo couldn't resist.  "You talking as a 'Dr. Kim' or is my older sister speaking from experience, about some fine Englishman we all now?"

Now it was Kim's turn to flush.  Embarrassment turned to anger.  How dare he!  "Now you listen to me, Bo Brady, we're talking about you and only you!"  When she got no response, she lowered her voice.  "This has nothing to do with Shane Donovan."

"Did you tell him, sis?"  Roman had moved closer to the speaker.

"No, and I don't want you to say anything to him, either."

"You don't have to worry about that," Roman said.  "I haven't talked to Shane in over a year."

"You too?'  Kim was surprised at how worried she felt.  Shane had gone undercover before, but he had never gone so long without contacting his children.  "I don't get it.  He's not even supposed to be in the ISA any more."

True, Roman thought, but once you were in the ISA, it was hard to extricate yourself.  And Roman wouldn't have been surprised if Shane was still doing ISA work on the side.  "I know, sis, but who knows what Shane got himself into.  Look, I'll check with my ISA contacts and see what I can find out."

"Thanks, Roman," Kim said.  "It would be good for the children to have their father available.  I  know they're worried, even if Jeannie won't admit it, and when I tell them about this. . . ."  She couldn't bring herself to say "cancer."

"Hey," Bo interrupted.  "I'm getting on that plane.  You don't need to go through this alone."

"I won't be alone.  This kids will be here on Friday and I asked Andrew to stay for a few weeks.  I know my son.  He'll be a rock."

Bo looked at Roman, but his brother had a faraway look and was nodding.  "He will."

Bo frowned.  "Fine.  But if you need anything, Kimber, don't go being some martyr.  Your family wants to be there for you."

"And you will."  Kim couldn't help but smile.  She knew Bo would move heaven and earth to protect her.  "Starting with going to University Hospital to get your bone marrow tested.  Dr. Lawrence is sending the details to someone there, and they'll give you a call."

"Fine."  Bo knew it was sometimes pointless to argue with Kim.  "And you, just remember you don't have to do all the heavy lifting.  Let Mr. 'Sword of Honor' help you out."

Kim chuckled.  "Do I detect some jealousy of your nephew?"

"Not at all.  You wouldn't ever see me bucking for top cadet in Her Majesty's Army."

"You're sure right," Roman added.  "You barely made it through the Salem PD Academy."

"And look where it got me, Mr. Deputy Police Commissioner."  He made a point of emphasizing the word "Deputy."  Bo loved teasing his older brother.

They both grinned when they heard Kim's laughter over the speaker.  "Oh, you two are impossible."