Brady and Chloe walked into Tuscany arguing about opera characters as their group was already seated, chattering about this and that.
"How can you say that Brady? She's confused, she doesn't know what she's feeling."
"Exactly. That's what he's telling her. He's telling her that her fiancé is no good for her that he understands her."
"But he isn't the one that needs to tell her that. She needs to make up her own mind."
"So why shouldn't he just give her a little push? I mean, she's obviously not getting the point on her own."
"But give her time."
"You are the most stubborn person I have ever met, Brady," by this time they had taken their seats and everyone else was watching them.
"And you're not?"
"Why aren't you seeing what I'm saying?"
"I see it, I just don't agree with it. She needs a little push in the right direction to clear her head. You have to agree that she doesn't belong with her fiancé, right?"
"You're right about that. You're wrong about telling her that and being so persistent in constantly attacking her with telling her what a mistake she's making."
"Yes, but she needs to make her decision before it's too late."
"How is it you two are still arguing even when you're together?" Belle thought she'd alert them to the fact that they weren't the only ones at the table.
"Sorry, guess we got a little carried away," Chloe apologized.
"Yeah, sorry," Brady reiterated.
"How are you feeling, Chloe?" Hope took a sip of wine.
"Much better, thank you, Mrs. Brady," she answered.
"Mr. Woods said to tell you we have a project due in about a month," Shawn said.
"Okay. Well, I'm going back in a day or two, I'll talk to him about it then."
"So, John, how's the company going?" Bo looked towards John.
"Well, well. We're looking for models now."
"Maybe you ought to hire Chloe and Greta," Marlena suggested.
"That's not a bad idea," John agreed.
"They're excellent choices," Hope said.
"No, no, I couldn't," Chloe protested.
"You'd be great," Brady said, putting his arm around her.
"I'd just, I'd be really uncomfortable with it," Chloe said as her cell phone rang. "Sorry, I thought I turned it off. Hello?"
"Hey, it's me."
"What do you want?" Her face tensed.
"To talk to you, don't hang up."
"You have thirty seconds."
"Chloe, I know we belong together. If you'll just forgive me for everything I've done in the past-"
"Forgive you? Not a chance. Do you know how much it has hurt to talk in the past few days? I am in constant physical pain because of you. Never call me again and if you're smart you'll never speak to me again."
"You bitch, you slut! You and that good for nothing nephew of mine are going to regret ever crossing Philip Kiriakis. You'll see, I never lose."
Chloe hung up the phone and put it back in her purse.
"Philip," Belle said knowingly.
"Did he say where he was?" Shawn scooted closer to Belle.
"No, he just asked if I'd forgive him, said we belonged together, then called me names and said Brady and I would be sorry," she shrugged.
"He'll never hurt you," Brady said softly.
"Chloe, listen, I know Victor. He won't let Philip do anything rash, and that's a fact," John said, raising his eyebrow.
"I can't believe what he's turned into," Belle thought aloud.
"He's not the boy you and Shawn grew up with," Hope said.
"That's for sure," Shawn sighed.
"Enough about that spoiled brat, Chloe, may I have this dance?" Brady stood and held out his hand for her.
"Oh, I love this song," Belle squealed.
Chloe took Brady's hand and they went to the dance floor, followed by Shawn and Belle as the adults sat and talked.
"Brady, we don't have a song," Chloe said.
"You think we should have one?"
"Okay. How about this one?"
"I like this song. Belle's been making me listen to this CD for weeks now. I like this one a lot."
"What's it called?"
"‘Helplessly, Hopelessly', by Jessica Andrews," she answered.
"Then that's our song. Chloe, try not to let Philip bother you. I know he says a lot of mean things, but it's just because he's stupid and doesn't understand that there are some things that he just can't have. He's just used to getting what he wants. I'm not saying it's an excuse, no woman should be talked to the way that idiot talks to you, but you know what I mean."
"I know. The more and more I think back on my relationship with Philip, I keep thinking how I never felt so at peace with him as I do with you. I was never his to lose, but I am yours. I always will be. I love you, Brady."
"I love you, Chloe," he said kissing her softly and sweetly. "By the way, you were acting a little strange when I came by earlier, after your nap."
"Oh, I just had this really amazing dream you woke me up from," she blushed.
"Must have been some dream. Was I in it?"
"Of course. And you're just the person to make my dream come true. But not tonight. Are you staying over?"
"Of course," he said.
Belle and Shawn danced together, closely, a few feet away from Brady and Chloe.
"They seem so happy," Belle observed.
"Yeah. They do. I'm happy too," he told her.
"Do you regret not making love while we were on the island?"
"No. And it isn't because I didn't want you. It was because it needs to be perfect. Our first time needs to be just right," he answered.
"Yeah. It'll be perfect. Chloe says that deciding on the spur of the moment was nice, but she wouldn't have done it if they weren't safe."
"You guys talk about that stuff?"
"Duh, girl talk! But, it is about Brady, so we don't go into too much detail. Why? Worried I'll say more than you want known?"
"No, no, it's just, I don't know. It's kind of weird that girls tell each other everything."
"Actually, Chloe is my best friend and all, but she tells Brady more than she tells me. Or anyone else for that matter."
"At least someone finally broke through her shell."
"Yup. Seems my big brother was just the guy to do it. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her I thought she and Brady should get married and have babies so I could be in the wedding and be an aunt."
"Yeah. She got all weird, weird for Chloe that is, and told me to calm down."
"So, I was thinking about the dance coming up. We're going right? I mean, together."
"Of course, Shawn," Belle beamed.
"Well, good. Because it wouldn't be any fun if we weren't there together."
The song ended and they all finished eating together.
"Belle, Shawn, Brady is coming over and we're going to watch some movies to you want to come?"
"Actually, that sounds like fun," Belle said. "What do you think, Shawn?"
"Sure, yeah," he agreed.
"What did you get, anyway?" Brady was holding Chloe's hand.
"The Sound of Music, Sixteen Candles, and Young Frankenstein."
"You got The Sound of Music," Brady laughed.
"Mm-hmm," she answered.
"Schnitzel with noodles," he laughed even harder.
"Someday you'll forget song lyrics and I'm going to remind you of it constantly," she laughed back.
"I'm lost," Bo said.
"Yeah, I don't get it," Hope added.
"Care to explain?" John arched his eyebrow.
"We were in the park this summer and she forgot the words to ‘My Favorite Things'," Brady explained.
"I forgot one line, but I remembered all of ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen'," she defended herself.
"What did you guys do, sing and dance in the park?" Shawn laughed at them.
They said their goodbyes and Brady and Chloe headed to her house while Shawn and Belle went to change before they got there.
Brady and Chloe made themselves comfortable and sat on the sofa waiting for the others. Brady began running his fingers down Chloe's arm, then turned to kiss her. She kissed him back with passion and hunger. Something she'd missed doing. She had such a good time that night that she didn't care about the pain. She went ahead and kissed him like she'd never kissed him before. They got further and further into it, close to taking each other's clothes off, but were interrupted by the doorbell ringing.
"Damn," Brady said.
Jan picked up her phone, which was once again ringing.
"Jan, get ready. Start tomorrow."
"You'd better pay me, Philip. I'm not doing this for nothing."
"You'll get your money." He hung up and crossed his arms in satisfaction. "You two will pay. You're going to learn not to cross me."
Chloe closed the door behind Shawn and Belle, who had just left. The last movie had finished and Brady sat on the sofa flipping through the channels for something to watch.
"I had an idea," Chloe said, walking in and sitting next to Brady.
"It's a beautiful night out, the stars are out, the moon is shining. It's very romantic."
"Let's sleep under the stars," she suggested.
"Okay," he agreed.
"There's some blankets in my mom's close, I'll be right back." She ran upstairs ro retrieve what she needed.
It was dark, most of Salem Place was closed. A woman with shoulder length dark hair wearing a black pant suit stood, talking on her cell phone.
"Yeah, he hired me. Of course he did. I'm working on it, but I really don't think that John Black knows anything about where DiMera might be. I know, I know."
Chloe pulled the blankets from the shelf in the closet. A she pulled the last one down a book fell, nearly hitting her already bruised head. The cover read in scripted lettering, ‘My Baby'. She carried it downstairs with the rest of the things and sat next to Brady.
"I found this in the closet," she quietly answered.
He held it and opened it. "Chloe Michelle," he read. The page had her date and place of birth also listed as well as the name of both her parents. Nancy's name was right next to the name Daniel Miller. "Who is Daniel Miller, Chloe?"
"My grandfather mentioned him once. He's my mother's uncle."
"I guess that's why she never wanted to talk about it."
"Do you think she was raped?"
"I don't think she would have willingly slept with her uncle. There's, like, a journal entry at the beginning."
"Read it to me, Brady?"
He cleared his throat before beginning, "I'm going to have a baby. I didn't expect it. Craig and I are always careful. We don't want children. I know who the father is. I used to like Uncle Danny. I don't want to think about that night. I told him no. Daddy says never to mention it. It's going to be a girl and I've decided to name her Chloe. Daddy says I can't keep her, but I'm going to try and talk him into it. I didn't plan for my daughter, but I love her just the same. I want to watch her grow up, become a young woman, follow her dreams. But I never want her to know how she came into this world. I can't let her know that there's that much bad in the world. I don't know what I'll tell Craig, but we'll be okay. I know it. We'll be a family and we'll be happy."
Brady looked over to Chloe, who was crying. "She must have felt so alone, Brady."
"There's one more page filled," he said, turning the page. They found a picture of an ultrasound. "Your first picture, Chloe."
"She's loved me since the beginning."
"Guess so. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I guess. It doesn't feel any different. I mean, when I was hating my mom and I would have loved to have gone and met my father and maybe lived with him. But now I want nothing to do with the man."
Brady put his arm around Chloe and they fell asleep right there while he held her.
Brady walked into Brady Pub and found his father at a booth with the young woman who was on the phone the night before.
"Son, come over here," John ushered Brady over. "I'm glad you could make it. Have a seat."
"Morning," Brady said.
"Son, this is Natalia Flynn. She's going to be working with us at Basic Black. Natalia this is my son, Brady."
"It's a pleasure, Brady," Natalia extended her hand.
"You too," Brady shook her hand.
"That's an interesting combination, Natalia. Your name, I mean," John said.
"Irish father, Russian mother. They compromised," she answered. Her cell phone began ringing and she excused herself from the table.
"What exactly is she going to be doing for us, dad?"
"Marketing and design. She has a degree from Harvard. She's very intelligent. I think she's going to be a wonderful asset to the company."
Over towards the door Natalia was listening to what she was being told.
"You're taking me off? I just got here, I haven't had the chance to find anything out. How do you think it's going to look if I leave the company before I even start? You want to me to stay and work with Salem P.D. on the case? So I'm not undercover? I'm staying with Basic Black. They pay me more than you do. Fine, I'll be in touch," she turned the phone off and walked into the pub to find a man with a gun trying to rob the place. From behind herself she pulled out a gun and held it to the robber.
"Drop the weapon, place your hands behind your head, lacing your fingers together," she ordered. He ignored her and she readied her gun to fire. "Now!" When he again ignored her she kicked his legs from under him and he fell flat on his back. He kicked his gun away form him and held him down with her floor, her gun pointed right at him. "You criminals are always so stupid."
Once the police had gotten rid of the guy John and Brady walked up to Natalia who was the phone outside.
"I think you have some explaining to do, Natalia," John stated.
"Yeah, um, I'm Special Agent Natalia Flynn, FBI. The bureau sent me down to investigate Stefano DiMera. I've been taken off undercover and they want me to work with your police department. However, the credentials I gave you are real and I would like to continue working for Basic Black."
"Son, why don't you take Natalia on a tour of the office. I have to meet Marlena," John excused himself.
On the drive to the offices Brady turned to Natalia. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Can you request DNA tests and match them if you only have on sample?"
"Well, if they match someone who has a past record, then yes. Why?"
"My girlfriend. We need to find out who her father is."
"Why don't you ask her mother?"
"We have an idea. But we need to be sure. And we need for no one else to know about it."
"Who's your girlfriend?"
"Tell me about her."
"She's a great singer. She's going to be at the MET someday. She's beautiful. No one has ever understood me like she does."
"Let's go pick her up and head to the hospital. We'll get started on that right away."
They picked Chloe up and the test was done and the results would be back as soon as possible. Getting into Brady's Jeep, Chloe noticed something in the back seat. Picking it up she faced Brady. "This isn't mine," she said holding the bra in front of him.
"Chloe, I don't know who's that is then."
"Chloe, you know you can trust me. I would never hurt you or betray you like that."
"Then who's could it possibly be? Did some girl just walk by your car and decide to throw her underwear in?"
"Philip," Brady said simply.
"The bastard gets sent away and he's still making trouble."
"You think he had this planted here?"
"That's the only possible explanation."
"Wonder what else he has planned for us?"
"He's a bad loser. We'll just have to know that whatever we find that could cause doubt that it was put there by him. Maybe we should tell your grandfather," Chloe thought.
"That's a good idea, let's head over to Titan," Brady held the door open for Chloe.
From behind a tree Jan watched the entire scene play out. "Philip is not going to be happy. And I'm not going to get my money. I'll just have to work a little harder." Her cell phone rang, as if on cue. "Hello?"
"Did it work?"
"Actually, no, it didn't?"
"Sleep with him."
"What? No way. That wasn't part of the deal."
"Sleep with him, Jan. He'll do it, I know he will. Chloe has to find you and know that Brady would do that."
"No, Philip. I'm not going to do that. As much as I hate Ghoul Girl, I'm not sleeping with someone for money. I do have morals."
"Could have fooled me."
"You know nothing about me, Philip. The deal is off," she hung up on him.
"I'll just have to find someone else," Philip shrugged. "They'll pay."
At Titan Brady and Chloe stormed into Victor's office without waiting to be announced. The found Nicole sitting on the desk having an intimate conversation with Victor.
"What is it Brady?" Victor straightened his tie.
"Philip is trying to break Chloe and I up."
"How do you know that?"
"We found a bra in Brady's car. He's the only that could have had it planted there. No one else wants us apart like he does," Chloe explained.
"It probably is him. I'll have a talk with him."
"Yes, thank you, Mr. Kiriakis."
"You're quite welcome. However, I was in the middle of something when you two came in. So if you could please leave Nicole and I to our work."
"Sorry," they said walking out.
"It was nice seeing you, Chloe," Victor said as the two left.
The door closed behind them and Nicole turned her attention to Victor. "You think Philip's really behind this?"
"Yes. He isn't going to settle for losing Chloe like this. I'm going to have to have his phone privileges revoked and take his allowance away. My son needs to learn to grow up and be a man."
On the car ride home Brady and Chloe talked about this and that, nothing really in particular. When they got inside the penthouse Chloe suddenly felt and ill and ran as quickly as she could to the bathroom. She came out a few minutes later.
"Are you okay?"
"I think so," she said. "Must have been something I ate."
Two weeks had passed quickly and Natalia still did not have the results. She had promised she would call as soon as she did. Chloe had returned to school and Brady was putting in full days at Basic Black. Craig and Nancy had returned two days ago and were enjoying being a family with Chloe. She still had not shared what she had found with them. She was waiting until Natalia called she and Brady. She wanted to tell them everything beforehand.
School was finished for the day Belle, Chloe, and Shawn were walking in front of Salem High when Chloe noticed Brady parked in his jeep waiting for them. He smiled when he'd seen that she had noticed him.
"Bye, guys," she said running up to him. She was healed completely from her beating and felt better than ever except for feeling nauseous in the morning. But that was usually quelled by crackers.
"Hey, beautiful," Brady greeted her as she got into the car. She leaned in for a kiss.
"Do you realize that it has been weeks since we last made love?" She looked at him seductively.
"Well, I took the rest of the day off. And it just so happens my dad will be working for another three hours. After that Marlena, who will be seeing patients all day long, will pick him up and they will have dinner together - at the office. So, we just have to get rid of Belle."
"Belle, come here," Chloe yelled to her best friend who was kissing and giggling with Shawn.
"What's up guys?" The girl was constantly cheerful.
"What are you doing right now?" Brady glared at Shawn, just for fun.
"We're babysitting J.T.," Belle answered. "Why?"
"How long?" Chloe gave her friend a knowing look.
"Oh, um, a few hours...I think?" Belle looked at Shawn, then back at her brother and Chloe.
"Good to know. Thanks, Tink. Behave, Shawn," Brady warned.
"Bye, Brady. Bye, Chloe," Belle waved and started to turn away.
"Bye, guys," Shawn said walking away with Belle.
Brady and Chloe drove off and Shawn and Belle went to a bench and sat. They were joined by Mimi.
"You know, she's one of my best friends and we girls tell each other everything. But he's my brother."
"Yeah, it's kind of...," Shawn wasn't sure what to say.
"Weird," Belle provided. "And not something that should be shared with a sister. Chloe's good about it though."
"They're happy," Mimi said.
"Where's Kevin?" Shawn looked around for Mimi's pseudo-boyfriend.
"Science lab. He has to pack some stuff up."
"Want to come help us babysit?" Belle starting rummaging through her pink backpack for something.
"Let me check with Kev, but I think so," Mimi answered.