Author's note: Brownie points to the person who can tell me who Carly's mystery man is...
Carly caressed her sleeping son's head and looked back at the legal papers in her hand. She was no longer Carly Corinthos. She was back to being just plain old Caroline Benson.
She would've killed to see Sonny's face when he realized she'd hired Alexis, who was more than happy to help her, to represent her in the divorce. The divorce was now final, complete with a very nice settlement, in one lump sum payment. Just in time to start over again.
It had taken time. Nearly two years she and Michael had been on the run, a new identity every couple of months, leaving everything behind when Sonny's men found them. But she'd gotten away from him. She was starting a new life with her own name, just her and Michael together in Washington D.C. No need to run, she had a job where she could be safe and protected. Her supervisors had assured her of that and she believed them.
"Welcome to your new life, Caroline."
"Mind if I sit down?"
Carly looked up at the man talking to her. He was older, in his 40s maybe, but still good looking. Light brown hair, green eyes, boyish grin, and a tight body, he was very good looking. "Sure," she answered, moving down the bench to make him some room.
Carly felt her heart flutter at his warm smile. He was charming, too, damn it. "No problem."
He was watching the kids playing on the playground, slightly wistful look in his eyes. "One of them yours?"
"Um, yeah. The redhead," she pointed Michael out, "on the swings."
"Cute kid," he complemented her, still smiling.
"Yeah, he is. Do you have any kids?"
"Two daughters. One just started college and the other is still in high school." He held out his hand to hers. "I'm Andrew, by the way."
She couldn't tear her eyes away from his. "Caroline."
"You married, Caroline?" he asked casually, watching the kids playing.
"Divorced, as of yesterday."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
Carly shrugged indifferently. "Don't be. The only thing I'm sorry about is that it took so long."
"Uh, yeah, a little, I guess. Aren't they all?"
"No, mine were fairly painless as divorces go," Andrew answered thoughtfully.
"How many times have you been divorced?"
"Twice, same woman," he said, raising his eyebrows disbelievingly. "You?"
"Three times, same man. One more to a different man."
"You got me beat," he said amusedly, shaking his head. "How'd you end up in Washington?"
"What kind of job?"
"That's classified. I don't think I'm allowed to tell you."
"That's half of Washington, sweetheart. What department are you with?"
Carly laughed. "World Security Bureau. But I don't start until next week."
"No kidding. I work for the WSB, too."
"Over fifteen years now." He looked at her a moment before speaking again. "You want to have dinner with me tonight, Caroline?"
"Ah, so now we get to the real reason you came over here," she said, smirking.
He grabbed at his chest, mocking offense. "Hey, I saw a pretty girl sitting by herself, thought I'd come over, make some conversation. She turns out to be nice, thought I'd ask her out. Celebrate her new divorce. You can't blame a guy for trying."
"Sure, I can."
"Should I be taking this as a no?"
"I don't have a babysitter, so plans will have to be for three."
"Chuck E. Cheese it is then."That was her usual cop-out line. Carly looked at him, seeing nothing but sincerity in his eyes. A lot of men had hit on her since she left Sonny. She'd gone out with a few of them. Not a single one had wanted to include Michael. She returned his warm smile. "You got a date."