Carly Tenney came to Oakdale to get a piece of the Cabot fortune. Carly's mother abandoned her family to run off with the very rich Alexander Cabot, and Carly felt she deserved some of that money. To get a hold of some of that fortune, she became very chummy with her half-sister, Rosanna Cabot. One night soon after arriving in Oakdale, Carly met a man in a bar and had a one-night stand. She later learned that that man was Rosanna's fiancé, Mike. Carly tried to break up Rosanna and Mike, and they slept together a second time. Then the day that Rosanna was to marry Mike, Carly made sure she learned about their one-night stand. Shocked and angry, Rosanna called off the wedding. Although Rosanna and Mike tried to get back together, following an argument, Mike went to Carly's place and they slept together. Soon after, Carly learned she was pregnant, a condition she used to get Mike close to her. Rosanna, jealous of Mike and Carly's baby, told Carly to name her price and she would buy the baby, but Carly refused to sell her child. Rosanna then offered to pay Carly millions of dollars to leave town. Carly, seeing this as an opportunity, arranged it so Mike would walk in when Rosanna was handing over the money. Mike broke up with Rosanna. That same night, Rosanna and Mike were having dinner on a restaurant boat and Carly came looking for them. After a arguing viciously with Carly, Rosanna finally had enough and turned to walk away. Just then, Carly grabbed Rosanna by the arm and Rosanna jerked her arm away. Tragically, when Rosanna jerked her arm away, Carly lost her balance and fell backward off the ship causing her to go into premature labor and losing her baby. Feeling a small measure of guilt, Rosanna made Carly a deal: she would give Carly $50 million when she married and had a baby (by anyone besides Mike). Thinking she had all the time in the world, Carly accepted Lisa's offer to start a design company in Hong Kong and left Oakdale behind.
A few years later, Carly (who'd lost money in Hong Kong and had since moved back to Montana) found out there WAS a deadline. Carly had to have a baby by the end of 1998, or the deal was off. At the same time she found this out, she was contacted by her cousin Molly. Molly needed help snaring Holden Snyder away from his wife; and Carly was happy to oblige. Carly decided to move back to Oakdale with her cousin, looking to get married and beat the deadline. She got a job at the police station and became very close to Hal Munson and Jack Snyder. While trying to help Jack capture arsonist Teague, Carly and Jack got stranded at a cabin and almost made love. When they were rescued, Jack was sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Since Carly only had about 9 months to meet her deadline, she instantly married Hal Munson. To guarantee that she would get pregnant, she had herself artificially inseminated by Dr. John Dixon. Carly's marriage to Hal, already on shaky ground because Hal's daughter, Nikki, had suspicions about Carly, started to fall apart because it was obvious that she was in love with Jack. At the same time that Hal decided to divorce Carly, she found out that the sperm that was inseminated into her was donated by Dr. Dixon himself!! Tests revealed that John was the father; they quickly married and once Carly's baby, Parker, was born, they divorced. Carly then found out that John was NOT the baby's father; Hal was. Brad Snyder, Jack's brother, blackmailed her with this information and forced her to marry him. Carly told Brad in no uncertain terms that she didn't love him and was only marrying him to ensure she didn't lose her fortune. While married to Brad, Carly came thisclose to having a one-night stand with the man she never stopped loving, Jack Snyder.
Carly decided to divorce Brad and pursue Jack; she promised Brad $5 million to agree to the divorce. At Hal and Barbara's engagement party, a vengeful Brad showed up with Parker and broke the news that he was Hal's, not John's, son. Rosanna immediately pulled the plug on the money, Jack recoiled in disgust and Carly was shunned by everyone else in Oakdale. A penniless Carly gave Parker to Hal and Barbara because she was homeless, but couldn't stay away and kept showing up at their house. At Hal's urging, Lisa gave Carly a menial job and basement digs. Carly and Barbara then started coming to an understanding about Carly's visitation with Parker. After losing everything, Carly was determined to get her life together and started working at Java. To her surprise, Jack befriended her and forgave her deception. After a minor argument, Jack bet Carly that she couldn't go 1 month without telling a lie. Carly accepted the bet on the condition that if she won, he'd give their relationship another chance.
During this time, Carly found $1 million at her doorstep. Knowing the money was left by Carter (the hit man who held her hostage), Carly was tempted to keep the money. However she did the right thing and turned it over to the police. Shortly after, to her surprise, she was awarded $ 1 million for Carter's capture. Carly put the money to good use by re-starting her design business. On Christmas, Jack announced to Carly that she won the bet and he rewarded her with a marriage proposal and a new house. For once, Carly's life seemed perfect. But, sadly, Carly's perfect life was to come to an end. Soon after becoming engaged, Carly started receiving threats from a man named Philips who knew her in Hong Kong. Afraid that Jack would learn some unsavory secret from her past, Carly kept the threats to herself. Philips told her that he was sent from their employer to retrieve her at any cost. Philips warned Carly that if she refused to return to her former Hong Kong employer, Jack and Parker would get hurt. Afraid for their lives, Carly sadly told Jack that she couldn't marry him, abandoned Parker, and left Oakdale with Philips.
After months of trying to contact Jack, Carly finally found salvation in the form of Craig Montgomery, one of Winston Lowe's business associates. Though she made a deal with Craig so he'd help her leave Winston, Winston ended up dying of a heart attack and Carly stole Craig's airline tickets to fly back to Oakdale. When she arrived, she told Jack and everyone the truth: Winston Lowe was her husband. Having married the dangerous man years ago in Hong Kong, she was able to escape but kept the marriage a secret. Though she'd hoped that Jack would understand, he refused to forgive her secrecy and wanted nothing more to do with her while Hal refused to give her back custody of Parker. Carly, however, vowed to earn back the respect she's lost and earn back Jack's love. In the end, Carly got her wish and she and Jack reconciled. Making Carly's life difficult was Craig, who had feelings (personal and professional) for her and Julia who was determined not to give Jack a divorce. Though she tried to stay away from Craig, Carly couldn't deny their chemistry and kept making excuses to see him even though she knew Jack didn't approve. However all of her fears came true when Jack saw proof that Carly & Craig shared a kiss on Craig's wedding day. That same day, Carly was suddenly kidnapped by a demented Julia! Julia planned to kill Carly so that she and Jack could be together. Luckily, Jack was able to rescue her. But this time, Carly was hurt by Jack's sanctimonious attitude when he saw the picture of her and Craig and, believing that her and Jack could never make it together, she broke off their engagement.
In order to go on with her life, Carly reluctantly accepted a job designing for BRO. At the same time that Carly was struggling to convince Paul Ryan to let her publicly acknowledge that she was designing for BRO, she and Craig grew closer after the death of his son. Though she cared for Craig, she didn't love him and when she was offered a job in Paris she took it. However, unknown to everybody, on her way to the airport, Carly vanished. Unbeknownst to everyone, Carly ended up in a strange spa in Europe and was slowly drugged by the steam. Though she ended up being with fellow Oakdale residents, Emily Stewart and Rose D'Angelo, by the time Emily and Rose arrived at the spa, Carly was too drugged to realize they were there. Though the other women tried to protect her, they were unsuccessful and she was mysteriously taken to the "next level." Months later, Carly was granted permission to call Jack and told him to get on with his life as it was too late for her. Nearly four months after she'd disappeared, Carly was mysteriously released by James Stenbeck and traded for Barbara Ryan. Although elated to be reunited with her family, there was just one problem: due to her treatment at the spa, Carly looked decades older! Disgusted by her appearance, Carly was reluctant to let Jack (her rescuer) into her life, and refused to see Craig at all. However, despite her appearance, all Jack saw was simply the woman he loved. He did not even flinch when he saw her for the first time upon her return; he held her and loved her unconditionally and she felt it. Though afraid that she'd be disfigured for life, the doctor who treated Carly at the spa was captured and "persuaded" by Jack to undo the damage he did to Carly. Her face restored, Carly settled down for a life with Jack.
However, Craig wasn't totally out of her system and, though she tried to forget about him, his relationship with Rosanna filled Carly with jealousy. Though she tried to get on with her life by entering in a partnership with Lisa, Craig manipulated her into accepting a job with BRO. This arrangement didn't sit very well with Jack, however, who didn't trust Craig around Carly. Finally, during an argument, Jack called the wedding off. In despair, Carly fell into her old habits and sought comfort in another man. It wasn't Craig--but her first love, Mike Kasnoff who was now dating Molly! Immediately, the couple felt guilty for what they'd done and decided to keep it a secret. That same day, Jack returned and made up with Carly. Carly married Jack only to later learn that she was pregnant! Knowing the child was either Jack's or Mike's, Carly tried to keep quiet about her indiscretion with Mike. Unfortunately, both Jack and Molly found out and wrote Carly out of their lives. During the course of Carly’s pregnancy, Molly eventually forgave Carly, and Jack softened also when he finally realized the child could actually be his and he agreed to help Carly in her pregnancy. To that end, when Carly was ordered to avoid stress in order to ensure a safe delivery, Jack demanded that she stop all work at Monte Carlo. Not long after, Jack suspected that Carly ripped off Barbara's designs and blew up at her. Believing that she and Jack would never make it work, she ran off to Montana. To her surprise, Jack eventually followed her and declared his love for her and his willingness to raise her child. Soon after, Jack delivered Carly's baby, Sage, and promised that no matter what, he'd be the girl's father. Days later, after learning that they were officially divorced, the pair married in a simple ceremony at Musselshell. In addition to marrying Jack, Carly also reconciled with both Molly and surprisingly, Rosanna, who traveled with Craig to bring Parker to Montana. Carly's happiness was complete when she learned that Sage was indeed Jack's baby.
Several months later, Carly found herself pulled into the Ryan family fiasco when Paul offered her a job at BRO--with the assertion that she could be heading Barbara's company. Although uncertain as to whether she wanted to be in the fallout of a takeover, Carly couldn't help but be intrigued by this amazing opportunity and accepted the offer. However, things would get confusing very quickly. Although warned to keep quiet about her working for BRO (since Barbara couldn't know about it), Carly told Jack and Rosanna. But by this point, Rosanna had severed ties with her friend Paul since she learned that he was indirectly responsible for her losing her adopted child. Forced to choose between working for Paul or having Rosanna in her life, Carly chose Rosanna. It was then that a shocked Carly received an offer to work with Barbara from Barbara herself! Wary of Barbara's motives, Carly went to Paul who was as confused as she was, yet believed his mother's offer was sincere. So, with Rosanna's unexpected encouragement, Carly became a partner at BRO. Although professionally secure, Carly's personal life would be thrown in turmoil a few months later. After having helped rescue Molly from a mobster named Starziak who feared she was going to testify against him, Jack (against Carly's wishes since she was afraid something could happen) offered to let Molly stay in his house since she had no where to go and feared for her life. Molly's fears seemed grounded when Starziak found her at the Snyders and went after her. Fortunately, Jack and Carly arrived home in time and Jack was able to subdue Starziak. However, the frightening ordeal left Molly hysterical and she demanded that Jack take him away. Though proper procedure was to wait for police backup, to appease a hysterical Molly, Jack took the criminal away himself. Sadly, he never returned and his car was found in the river. Starziak was also found--dead.
Although Carly tried to hold out hope that he was alive, a search revealed nothing and the police declared him dead. Although Carly tried to move on with her life, Parker kept insisting that Jack was alive and they had to find him. Parker's hope was contagious and, while helping him to get through Jack's death by encouraging him to look for Jack (by sending out a message in a bottle for Jack to find), Carly ended up believing it herself. Then one day, Parker insisted that they had to go to a water park not far from town. Humoring him, Carly and the kids went but found nothing. That same night, Carly went back to the park on a hunch and found the blurred picture of a man she thought was Jack! Certain that Jack was out there somewhere, Carly did some more digging, to Hal's consternation since he felt Carly was damaging Parker by not letting him face the reality of Jack's death. But Carly refused to give up and hired an investigator to find Jack. Although it seemed hopeless, Carly had one small lead--a dark haired woman at the water park with a small child named J.J. was at the park with the blurred man in the photo. Finally, after Jack was declared dead for months, Hal got a call from the police about Jack Snyder! Although it was simply a man who'd stolen Jack's wallet that lead led to an important find--Jack was alive when the wallet was stolen! While Hal tried to find information from the police, Carly followed her own lead, but throughout the weeks the search proved fruitless. Finally, Parker (who'd been having psychic flashes throughout all of this) told Carly that it was too late and then collapsed. Fearing what this was doing to her son, Carly decided to give up the search.
All that changed when Carly learned that the dark haired woman from the water park had been in her house wanting to tell her something. The same day, Parker found a pen in the trash, which must have been left by the dark haired woman, a pen from St. Genevieve Hospital. Now with a solid lead, Carly and Rosanna did some searching and found out the woman's identity--Julia Larrabee. However, when she went to Julia's home, she was told that she'd left suddenly with her son and husband, who had to be Jack! With the clock ticking, Carly and Rosanna went searching for Julia and Jack. Although they were thrown off course since Julia had told people she was headed for Tennessee, Carly soon figured out she was heading somewhere else and, with some information from some truckers at a rest stop, deduced that Julia and Jack could be headed for Louisville, Kentucky. Hitching a ride with a trucker, Carly searched at every hotel on route for Jack to no avail. Finally, at dawn’s light she got a clue from Parker---Jack was at the White Horse. Having just passed a hotel called the White Horse, Carly knew where Jack was and finally, months after he'd been declared dead, came face to face with him. Unfortunately, Jack had no memory of Carly at all. Although she tried to jog his memory by showing him a family picture and telling him about their past, he still could not remember anything. Not feeling anything for this woman in front of him, Jack only wanted to return to Julia and was shocked when Carly told him that Julia had known who he was, that she'd been to their house in Oakdale. Not knowing who to believe, but not liking Carly's confrontational attitude toward Julia, Jack told Carly he'd meet her in Oakdale, after he'd talked to Julia.
Unfortunately for Carly, things wouldn't go smoothly. Although Jack did come back to Oakdale, he brought Julia and her son, J.J., with him. This development didn't sit too well with Carly and she had several run-ins with Julia, whom Carly accused of exploiting Jack's vulnerable state to keep him close. Carly's antagonism toward Julia only ended up alienating herself from Jack. Knowing that Jack considered Julia his real wife, Carly went to court and had Jack declared incompetent and had him placed in her custody. However, though Jack was now at home, he was colder than ever to Carly. After weeks of Jack being hostile, Carly tried to make him remember their past by tricking him into going to Montana. There she discussed their past and started reciting their wedding vows. Suddenly, Jack started remembering them too and his entire memory came flooding back! However, even though his memory had returned, Jack still had a problem--he cared for both women. As Jack struggled with his choice, in the end Carly decided to make it easy for him and signed divorce papers. However, to her delight, Jack had already made his decision and tore them up. Months later, Julia was tragically murdered by her ex-husband, Les, and Jack and Carly were granted guardianship of J.J..
A few months later, Carly started having nightmares of a woman screaming at her demanding to know what she’d done to her child. Convinced that this was a traumatic childhood memory, Carly did some digging through her father’s things and found a photo of him and a dark haired woman. The odd thing was that the photo was taken near Mabel’s in Oakdale. Confused since her father never mentioned living there, Carly asked around but no one remembered her father or the woman he was with. Several weeks later, Carly was shocked to see the woman talking with Jack. The woman, Iris, simply told her that she dated Carly’s father when Carly was younger. Meanwhile, tragedy struck when Rosanna was run off the road by Craig and fell into a coma. At the time of the accident, Rosanna had made plans to adopt a baby boy from teenaged unwed mother. With Rosanna incapacitated, Carly decided to raise her sister’s baby, whom she named Rory. Unfortunately the mother, Gwen Norbeck, decided to sue Carly for custody since she didn’t know or trust Carly. A week later, at the trial, Iris told Carly the secret she’d been hiding—she had given birth to Ray Tenney’s child and Carly, in a childhood pique of jealousy, murdered her newborn baby.
Since Carly was underage, the records were sealed. When Carly relayed the story to Jack, he was forced to admit that he’d not only seen the juvenile records—he’d destroyed them. Shaken, Carly refused to believe that she caused a baby’s death since she had no memory of it. All she remembered was a small baby and Iris screaming that she’d killed him. Back in the present, Iris blackmailed Carly in exchange for her silence—believing that no judge would give her custody of a child if the truth were known. Carly gave Iris $10,000 and told her never to bother her again. In the meantime, the custody battle seemed to be turning in Gwen’s favor with her getting visitation rights. Desperate to make sure she didn’t lose Rory, Carly set out to make Gwen look like an unfit mother by arranging her to drink tainted water during an outing so Gwen would fall asleep while watching the baby. Not long after, Carly was shocked to learn that Iris was Gwen’s mother. Painting herself as the perfect mother, Iris petitioned the court to let Gwen have temporary custody of the baby while under her care. To Carly’s dismay, the judge agreed. After a few weeks, when Iris accused Will Munson (who was seeing Gwen) of poisoning her, the teens ran off with Rory to New York City. Carly and Jack went to NYC to locate them. Finally they found them. on the steps of the NYC university, Carly and Gwen were on the top steps while Jack, Will and Iris were near the bottom of the steps. Gwen was holding onto the baby carriage, and, when Carly and her got into fight over Rory, Gwen lost her balance. The carriage went over first, and Jack caught the carriage, and saved Rory, Unfortunately, Gwen lost her balance and fell down the stairs. Suddenly, at that moment Carly had a memory flash to the night Iris’s baby died. She suddenly remembered that it wasn’t a baby BOY but a GIRL. Carly suddenly put two and two together and figured out that Iris set up Carly in order to get her and her baby away from the Tenneys. That meant that Gwen was her half-sister!
Despite the revelation, Carly refused to acknowledge any sisterly bond and was still determined to keep Gwen away from her baby. In the end though, both women ended up losing when another major revelation came out---Rory was NOT Gwen’s baby! He was actually Jennifer Munson’s. Both babies had been born on the same day but one didn’t survive. Unknown to everyone, Craig had switched the babies so everyone thought that Jen’s baby had died. With the truth finally discovered, Rory was given to Jennifer and, saddened by Gwen’s loss (since it reminded her of her miscarriage of Nora), Carly truly bonded with her sister.
In the meantime, Jack was suspended when it was discovered that he manipulated the water vendor's testimony about Carly hiring him to drug Gwen's water during the custody battle. Jack was suspended and Mike’s cousin, Nick Kasnoff, arrived to take his place. Nick made no secret in his interest in the very-married Carly, to her disgust. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that Nick became a hero when he prevented a bomb from going off at WOAK on the same day that Jack was shot trying to apprehend the perpetrator. Carly made no secret of her distaste for Nick, accusing him of stealing her husband's thunder. Jack didn't seem to have too much respect for Nick either since he believed the younger cop took reckless risks. Later, Jack was cleared by Internal Affairs and was reinstated. Unfortunately for him, with Nick's arrival, his old position was no longer available and he was forced to work part time at the OPD. Although Jack tried to accept the situation, Carly seethed. Although Carly made no secret of her dislike of Nick, he knew his presence affected her in a primal sense and he shamelessly flirted with her at every turn. Then both Nick and Jack were assigned to crack a gambling operation, with Nick as lead detective. Hoping to help Jack get the information to crack the case, Carly (without Jack's knowledge) took a job at the club they were investigating. Things became complicated when Nick spotted Carly working at the Galaxy club as a waitress. She quickly spun a story about them needing the money since Jack wasn't working full-time and begged him to keep her job a secret from Jack. Despite a few close calls, and several run-ins with Jack, the secret remained safe. Finally, several weeks later, Nick discovered the phone number to the person he was investigating in Carly's possession. Putting two and two together, he realized that Carly lied to him: she wasn't there because she needed the money; she was there to funnel information from his case to Jack. Though Nick thought Jack put her up to this, and threatened to go after his badge, Carly pleaded with him not to and convinced him that Jack knew nothing--this was all her idea.
Angry, and hurt that he'd been played, Nick agreed to keep quiet as long as she stayed out of his investigation. Things got worse when, in another attempt to get Nick out of the investigation, Carly set him up to be drugged and found with a hooker. Unfortunately, the plan backfired with Nick getting stabbed by the man he was investigating, Antoly. Nick was briefly suspected of being a dirty cop. After the dust cleared and he was vindicated, Carly asked Nick to forgive her for the set-up, but he refused and declared that he could have her sent to prison! Later, however, Nick decided to let Carly walk - for her kids’ sakes. Unfortunately, Jack soon learned the entire story and, feeling betrayed, left Carly. In the meantime, Mike was caught up in trouble of his own when he discovered a skeleton in the basement of the Snyder home (his old house). The body belonged to a woman Mike briefly knew named Maya Gold and since he was the last person to see her alive, he became the prime suspect. However, Carly and Katie started wondering if it was Nick, not Mike, who was the killer. It turned out the ladies were right. Realizing he was about to be found out, Nick took both women hostage. Luckily, Mike and Jack found them. Realizing he'd almost lost her, Jack reunited with Carly.
Unfortunately, Jack was forced to admit that he couldn't fully trust her and their marriage. Angry, Carly threw him out and warned him that she might not wait around for him this time. Soon after, a wealthy Simon Frasier returned to Oakdale and decided to set up roots by purchasing an old hotel. Hoping to have it renovated, Simon overheard fledgling interior decorator Carly trying to secure a loan. When she was rejected, Simon approached her about working for him. Although she was wary, since Simon’s reputation as a con artist had preceded him, Carly decided she needed the money and took him up on his offer. As the weeks went by, Carly and Simon became more and more intrigued with each other. Despite disapproval from Jack and Katie, Carly and Simon became intimate. Meanwhile, Simon's funding fell through and he was forced to go to a loan shark for money. When the loan shark put pressure on Simon to pay, he and Carly decided to pull an elaborate jewel heist on Vienna. Though they were successful, Katie (with whom Simon had a one-night stand) became suspicious and blew the whistle on the pair. Carly and Simon then went on the run to evade the police.
Five months later, Carly returned to Oakdale in secret. After lurking around for weeks, waiting for Simon to take care of their problem, Carly finally revealed herself to Jack. Carly informed Jack that she and Simon were through; she wanted to come back for her kids. At the same time, the jewels of Leonia were returned (thanks to Simon) and the prince decided not to press charges. However, Jack was far less forgiving and warned Carly that OPD still had her up on charges. He then told her that it might not be a good idea to see the kids since she might end up having to serve jail time. Carly talked him into letting her see the kids and he let them see her at the police station. Though Parker was wary about trusting his mother, J.J. pleaded with Jack to help get Carly released. For his kids’ sake, Jack took pity on Carly and told her that he could get the DA to drop the charges if she claimed that Simon coerced her. Carly balked about lying at first, but then agreed to gain her freedom. Shortly after, Carly was shocked to discover that Brad was back in town. Even more shocking was Brad’s revelation that Jack was now dating Katie. Katie’s involvement with Jack made Carly see red. As Jack and Carly dealt with how her return affected the kids—especially Parker who was acting out--Katie warned Jack that Carly was plotting to get him back. Jack assured Katie that he would not fall for Carly’s tricks. At the same time, Parker finally dropped his defenses and forgave his mother for leaving. In the meantime, Carly accepted Brad’s invitation to go on to a gala with him, recognizing that he had feelings for Katie and he wanted to make her jealous. Brad obviously knew Carly wanted Jack as well and the two worked to each other’s advantage. Later, the same night that Carly made a move on Jack, Jack found out about Brad’s scheme to ruin things with him and Katie by leading her to believe that Jack was going to propose. Deciding it wasn’t a bad idea, Jack did end up asking Katie to marry him. Though he and Carly did bond when they went on to Idaho to rescue a kidnapped J.J., Jack ultimately chose to stay with Katie. Not only that, but he decided to marry her ASAP. At the same time, it seemed as if Brad was now on Katie’s side, not hers.
At about this time, Carly was suffering from fainting spells and was disturbed to learn that she was dying of a neurological disease. Soon after, Brad walked in on a collapsed Carly and learned her secret when he rushed her to the hospital. Though Carly swore Brad to secrecy, he admitted the truth to Jack on his wedding day. Jack rushed to the hospital to see Carly and strove to make Carly’s final days as comfortable as possible. Later, Carly learned that she was misdiagnosed—she wasn’t dying after all. Though she planned on telling him, she was so flattered by the attention he’d been giving her that she kept it a secret. Carly milked her “illness” for all it. It didn’t take long for Brad to find out the truth from her doctor and he insisted that Jack had a right to know the truth. However, Carly convinced him to keep her secret and got Jack to accompany her to Montana. While exchanging fond memories, Carly asked Jack to make love to her one last time. Jack agreed. When he returned home, Jack found that he could not lie to Katie and confessed. Though he tried to explain the lovemaking was merely a way to say goodbye, a disturbed Katie immediately sought an annulment. At the same time, Carly told Brad about her scheme to get Jack to marry her again. Again, Brad objected but Carly convinced him that it would behoove him to keep quiet. After all, with Jack gone, Brad could get closer to Katie. Brad reluctantly kept quiet. Soon after, things went a step further when Jack asked Carly to marry him.
Though Brad, and Lily, continually urged Carly to tell the truth, Carly refused since everything Jack had done proved to her that he still loved her. Though she gave him an out by stating that she didn’t want him to marry her out of some obligation, Jack insisted that he wanted to be with her and pushed for a quick wedding. Finally, on the day of the wedding, standing at the altar, Carly confessed to Jack, and everyone in attendance, that she was misdiagnosed. Jack was elated at the news; until Rosanna let it slip about Carly mentioning having some good news weeks earlier. It suddenly became clear to all that Carly had known the truth for weeks. Upset, Jack walked out on Carly and went straight to Katie. Later, Carly tried to convince Jack that she did what she did out of love, but he angrily denounced her.
Soon, it became painfully obvious that Jack was never going to return to her. In fact, Jack spent the next several weeks looking down on her and blaming her for losing Katie. In addition, he still begrudged her time with the children. As Carly was hoping to pick up the pieces of her life, an old acquaintance popped into her life—Kit Fowler, the woman whose house J.J. was held hostage in the previous summer. However, Kit was not involved in the kidnapping and explained to Carly that her involvement was a result of her drinking. Kit claimed that she was on the wagon and went to her to make amends. Kit stated that she was looking to get her life straight by buying Metro’s. Knowing what it was like to mess up royally, Carly accepted her apology and gave her a place to stay. Not only that, she gave Kit her settlement check (as a result of being misdiagnosed) so they could go into business together. This, of course, did nothing to endear her to Jack who refused to let the kids even come to the house while Kit was there. Things became even more tense between her and Jack when Kit’s boyfriend, Sam, arrived. Carly opened her home to Sam which Jack objected too since Sam was a felon. Though Jack continually berated Carly, she protested that there was good in Kit and Sam. Hating that Jack was miserable, and taking it out on her, Carly even tried to get Katie to take him back which only made matters worse. At the same time, she and Kit worked feverishly to get Metro opened by New Year’s Eve. She even decided to donate a portion of the profits to the Oakdale Police Dept. Unfortunately, on New Year’s Eve, Kit was suddenly arrested and transferred to Utah on an outstanding charge. Carly worried about how she could do this alone, but Sam stuck by her and assured her that everything would be fine. Though Carly thought the opening would be a bust when the band she booked didn’t show up (since she forgot to confirm), Sam saved the day by stepping in. Not only was the opening a hit, but Jack was actually impressed. From that point on, Jack’s anger dissipated and she actually regained some of his respect.
Meanwhile, Parker made no secret of his dislike of Sam. Though Parker tried, for weeks, to warn his parents that Sam was a bad man, no one believed him. Desperate to get rid of Sam, Parker robbed Metro and set it up to look as if Sam was responsible. Unfortunately, Parker was exposed very quickly. As the weeks went by, Parker was more and more certain that Sam was a threat but no one believed him. As far as they knew, he was a just a ventriloquist who staged shows with his puppet, Cowboy Jack. Parker’s attitude toward Sam worried both Carly and Jack and they banded together to help their son. .Carly and Jack had Parker resume therapy due to his behavior. Parker’s attitude was especially troubling for Carly since she felt that Sam was a good guy. She also believed that he was committed to Kit, which is why she was shocked when Sam told her that Kit sent him a Dear John letter. When Carly tried to console Sam, he made a pass at her which she rebuffed. Later, Kit came back to town and, sensing some flirtation between Sam and Carly, asked Carly point blank if she and Sam were an item. Carly denied it and, to protect Sam, withheld the fact that he’d kissed her. Then one night, Kit was forced to go to Chicago to find a band when, according to Sam, the band scheduled to play at Metro suddenly cancelled. However, after a getting a call from the band, Carly was shocked to learn that Sam cancelled the gig himself. Sam admitted it and confessed to Carly that he was in love with her. Unnerved by his proclamation, Carly angrily ordered him to get out. However, Sam talked her into letting him finish his drink while she did paperwork. At the same time, Parker and Jack went to a hockey game using tickets that mysteriously came from nowhere. Jack suspected they were from Parker’s hockey coach but Parker wasn’t so sure. Convinced that Carly was in trouble, Parker asked Jack to call her. Carly told Jack she was glad he called but Parker grabbed the phone from Jack before she could elaborate. Not wanting to worry Parker, Carly told him that she was fine. Soon after, as she was telling Sam to get out, he tried to rape her.
Fortunately Parker went to Metro just in time and shot Sam with the gun he brought from the Snyder farm. In shock, Parker ran out. Carly chased after him and, although Parker wanted to run, Carly convinced him that they had to call Jack. Later, the pair went to Metro with Jack and by this time Sam was dead. Parker was quickly arrested and, when it was learned that he went to Metro with the gun, the DA called the murder premeditated and charged him as an adult. The fact that Sam had been shot twice did not seem to help. Though Carly insisted that Parker only fired one shot, Margo’s questioning so unsettled Parker that he couldn’t remember how many shots he fired. Carly and Jack worked together to find a way to clear Parker. To do that, Carly had to be certain about what happened that night. Carly got Jack to return to the scene of the crime and reenact what happened. It worked—Carly remembered with absolute certainty that Parker only fired one shot. That meant that someone must have come into the bar when Carly and Parker left and finished Sam off. Jack had the perfect suspect—Kit. Remembering that Kit had been jealous of her and Sam, Carly realized he could be right and the two came up with a plan to trap Kit into confessing. Jack’s plan was for them to gaslight Kit by drugging her slightly and then startling her by bringing Cowboy Jack to life. Unfortunately, that plan backfired as did another effort to try to get Henry to get her to confess.
Out of options, Carly decided to use herself as bait by flatly telling Kit that she knew Kit killed Sam. Though Jack objected to her putting herself in danger, he agreed since time was running out. Later, Kit called Carly and asked her to meet her at a prop shop in Chicago. Without telling Jack, Carly left to meet with Kit and was almost attacked for her trouble. Luckily, Jack went looking for Carly and found out where she was since her and Kit’s conversation was on the answering machine. The pair was now convinced that Kit was their killer. Suddenly, Cowboy Jack dummies kept appearing all over the Snyder house and even in Carly’s car. Finding out the dummies were made in the same shop that Kit lured Carly to, Jack and Carly returned to the shop to look for Kit. There they unexpectedly ran into Brad and Katie who were looking for Henry who had been kidnapped. Things came to a head when Kit found Brad and held him at gunpoint. At the point, Jack come up behind to snare Kit. Unfortunately, Kit had attacked Katie earlier and when Katie stumbled upon the scene she distracted Jack. Jack was shot and Carly grabbed his gun to apprehend Kit. When Kit began firing at Carly, Carly had no choice but to fire back and killed Kit. Jack was rushed to the hospital where his condition remained serious but not critical.
Meanwhile, Parker’s trial date was drawing perilously near. Carly was determined to clear Parker’s name and decided to search for clues herself that would prove that Kit was in Oakdale the night of Sam’s murder. Luckily, Carly's determination paid off when she showed Kit's picture to a homeless woman who recognized her. Later, while showing Carly the coat that Kit had given her, the woman, Ruby, found a receipt in the pocket--a receipt that proved that Kit was in Oakdale the night of Sam's murder. Well, not quite since whatever Kit paid for, she paid for in cash so there was no proof that the receipt came from Kit. Determined to clear Parker, both Carly and Jack tracked down Ruby and convinced her to testify on their son’s behalf. Though he was originally found guilty, the verdict was overturned when Ruby testified that Kit told her that she had killed Sam.
During the course of all of this, Jack and Carly had drawn closer, which Carly took as a good sign. Unfortunately, Jack was adamant that they just did not work as a couple and, no matter how hard she tried, Carly could not change his mind. Jack was convinced that they worked better as friends. Things finally came to a head on the night of Katie’s engagement party to Brad. That night, Jack wanted to be with Carly. With trepidation, Carly told Jack to only kiss her if he meant it. In response, Jack kissed Carly and the pair made love. The next morning, Jack broke Carly’s heart by telling her that nothing had changed. Though Carly tried to argue that they had a foundation upon which to rebuild their relationship, Jack insisted that their problems were too deep and stated that their lovemaking was just that—sex. Jack’s rejection cut Carly to the core and she angrily tore into Jack. Jack lashed out in retaliation and, soon, the pair found themselves back to arguing at every turn. Suddenly, Carly found a surprising friend in Holden. Since he and Lily, Carly’s best friend, had been battling marital problems for years, he understood Carly’s dejection and provided support. Soon, fate kept throwing them together and Carly found herself really valuing Holden’s friendship, especially since Lily had gone on an extended visit to her mother. When Lily returned, Carly was confident that she and Holden would reunite. However, as the weeks went by, it became apparent that both Carly and Holden were becoming attracted to each other. Recognizing that it was wrong, each tried to put a stop to it, but the pull was too strong and they couldn’t stop thinking about each other.
Finally, came the day that the kids were set to go to camp. Though Lily was set to go with Holden, she was forced to back out and suggested that Carly and Holden go together. After they dropped off the kids, the pair almost shared a kiss. Rattled, Carly tried to distance herself from Holden and get him and Lily together. However, Holden couldn’t focus on Lily because he was too hung up on Carly. Finally, Holden kissed Carly. At that point, Carly tried to convince Holden that he and Lily had to go away and work on their marriage. She argued that their attraction was born out of mutual rejection and would subside if they were apart. However, fate intervened when Holden and Carly found themselves at the summer camp at the same time. Stranded due to a storm, the two were forced to share a cabin. There, the pair gave in to their desires and passionately made love. Afterwards, the pair tried to put their tryst behind them, with Carly ultimately agreeing to go on a date with Mike’s boss, Neal. Though Neal found Carly very attractive, she could not get Holden out of her system. Finally, in desperation, Carly agreed to go with Neal to Paris. Unfortunately, Carly’s new friendship with Neal made Holden jealousy and, when he learned their plans, he travelled to New York where the pair was staying for the day. There, Holden confessed his deep feelings for Carly and offered to end his marriage for her. The two made love again and the next day, back in Oakdale, Holden confessed all to Lily.
Incensed at his betrayal, Lily lashed out at Holden. When Holden told Carly what he’d done, she went to speak to Lily. Unfortunately, at that moment, Lily was returning home and the sight of Carly filled her with such rage that she almost ran her down! Luckily for Carly, Lily swerved away at the last minute. The next day, Lily told everyone, including Jack, what she’d done and why she did it. Extremely guilty for the pain that she’d caused, Carly resolved to push away her feelings and stay away from Holden, though Holden continued to chase after her.
In the meantime, Jack surprised Carly by marrying Janet. Not long after Craig returned to town and proposed that he and Carly go into business together—marketing vodka. As the weeks went on, Carly started to succumb to the stress and her life and began drinking. Adding to Carly’s stress was Parker who ran off to get married in an attempt to seize his trust fund. When the judge allowed the underage teens to marry, Craig stepped in and offered to act as trustee of the fund so that Parker wouldn’t spend it irresponsibly. Meanwhile, Craig’s feelings for Carly had grown. In an attempt to provide her with some stability, Craig proposed marriage. At the same time, a healthy Rosanna returned to Oakdale.. While staying at Carly’s, Rosanna found several bottles of vodka hidden in the house. Already suspicious of Carly’s behavior, Rosanna confronted Carly about her drinking problem and agreed not to say anything to Craig until after the wedding. However, on the day of the wedding, Carly had a change of heart and decided that she needed to get help for her addiction.
When Carly returned from rehab, she realized the truth and blasted both Craig and Rosanna for their betrayal. Fortunately, it didn’t take Carly long to realize that she never loved Craig anyway and she forgave her sister. That wasn’t all that happened. The day that Carly returned, she was saddened to learn that Brad had accidentally been killed in a hostage crisis. Even more shocking was the fact that Jack fired the shot. Unable to deal with his mistake, Jack abruptly left Oakdale. Worried, Carly followed. When Jack failed to find redemption, he went on a drinking binge, which abruptly ended when Carly saddled up to the bar for a shot of whiskey. With Carly’s encouragement, Jack returned home. However, he couldn’t find it in him to stay with Janet and stayed at Carly’s instead. Soon, Jack professed his love to Carly and decided to leave Janet. However, when Jack learned that Liberty had been diagnosed with cancer, he changed his mind and resumed his marriage. Soon after, Carly saw Janet kissing Dusty and tricked Janet’s sister into confirming Janet and Dusty's affair. Meanwhile, Janet was desperate for a way to help Liberty and convinced Jack that they had to conceive a child together in the hopes that the child’s bone marrow would save Liberty. Learning of Janet’s plan, Carly told Jack about Janet and Dusty’s affair. Jack decided that he couldn’t have a baby with Janet after all and returned to Carly. Not long after, Janet discovered she was pregnant.
Though Jack was still determined to stay with Carly, he was unwilling to cede his role as the father of Janet’s unborn child to Dusty. As the months went by, Carly found it difficult to deal with Jack’s involvement in Janet’s pregnancy. Also causing friction was Carly’s involvement in Parker’s legal matters. However, in the end, the pair stuck together and Jack ultimately proposed marriage—declaring that it would work this time. Immediately after the wedding, Jack learned that Parker planned to attend the police academy. Though Jack objected, everyone else, including Carly, supported the idea. Meanwhile, Janet had her son who turned out to be Dusty’s, not Jack’s after all. Though Jack was disappointed, he was elated when Carly shared the news that she was pregnant.