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Tony Lord
Meredith Lord
Tina Clayton Lord
Todd Manning

Roger Gordon
Joe Riley
Steve Burke
Clint Buchanan
Sloan Carpenter
Ben Davidson

Megan Gordon
Kevin Lord Riley
Joseph Francis Riley
Jessica Buchanan
Natalie Buchanan
OLTL's Viki


Sloan Carpenter

By: Lisa

The bittersweet romance of General Sloan Carpenter and Victoria Lord Buchanan proved the old adage that the course of true love never runs smooth. This pair had a destiny that couldn't be denied and though fate was not always on their side, their love won out in the end. Set against a backdrop of rampant fear, prejudice and homophobia, Viki and Sloan came together during one of the most tumultuous times in Llanview history. But despite the times and despite everything that seemed to stand in their way, Viki and Sloan were still able to find a deep and lasting love in each other.

Their path together started when Sloan Carpenter came to Llanview to see his son Andrew Carpenter. Andrew was the Reverend for St. James Church, where Viki Buchanan was a parishioner and a member of the church vestry.

The retired Army General was a handsome but taciturn man, disciplined by years as an officer in the Army. He had rigid ideals and demanded perfection from himself and others, especially his family. He was a widower who had not only given up on love, but also on life. He'd been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, and was only in Llanview to make peace with his surviving son, Andrew. He had refused further treatment because he thought he had nothing to live for.

Sloan had spent the years following his son William's death being eaten up with guilt over his treatment of William, whom he'd shunned when William had announced his homosexuality. Sloan couldn't come to grips with William's revelation and it shook him to his core to think that his own son was part of something that he couldn't comprehend. William later died of AIDS and Sloan was unable to get past his own fears and prejudices to be there for his son at the time of his death. Sloan had never forgiven himself for this and he almost welcomed his own death, thinking it would at least provide him with some relief from his unending and overwhelming guilt.

Sloan's attempted reconciliation with his surviving son Andrew, whom he'd estranged by his treatment of William, led him to meet Viki. She was at St. James talking to Andrew, and Sloan was immediately impressed with her elegance, beauty and warmth. He told Andrew that here was a woman who surpassed even his impeccable standards and high ideals.

Beginning with their first chance meeting, Viki and Sloan ignited long buried feelings and desires in each other. They responded to each other in a way they had with no one else and their seemingly reserved exteriors belied the passionate and sensual lovers they would soon become.

Viki saw similarities to the idealized version she had of her father in Sloan. Both men had regal bearings and patrician backgrounds, but only Sloan was a true and honorable gentleman. Viki erroneously thought that her father possessed these qualities too, but she would soon find out the truth about Victor Lord. As luck would have it, Sloan would be the one to unwittingly lead her to that awful revelation, when he began to write a biography of Victor.

Sloan knew of Victor's "sterling" reputation and "untarnished" image and thought that he would make a great subject for a book. Viki endorsed this idea because she, like Sloan, was under the impression that her father was a great man. Needless to say, they couldn't have been more wrong, but they wouldn't realize that until much later. Wanting to do research on Victor, Sloan began using the library at Llanfair and he and Viki got to know each other during this time. His growing attraction to Viki also changed his mind about not seeking treatment for the Hodgkin's disease and he finally decided to let Larry help him. Thanks to treatment, he eventually went into remission from the disease. At the time of Sloan's arrival, Viki had been trying to deal with her grief over her daughter Megan's tragic death from Lupus. Viki immediately understood Sloan's feelings about William and the two of them spent many hours talking about the loss of their children.

Viki's life was also complicated by the fact that her marriage to Clint Buchanan was coming apart at the seams. They had both changed a lot from when they'd first married, and though Viki had loved Clint, she had never been able to share her innermost thoughts or desires with him. She'd been sure he wouldn't understand, but with Sloan, she was sure of the opposite. Clint had always put her on a pedestal and seemed to see her as some kind of icon instead of a flesh and blood woman. This had been fine with Viki for a long time because it kept her safe and secure and most importantly, it kept her demons at bay, demons that were always there, and always threatening her "perfect" world and "perfect" image of who she was and who her father was. Little did Sloan know how much he would help shatter this image or what effect it would have on Viki's psyche.

Sloan's biography of Victor Lord, titled "Lord of the Banner," was a best seller. Viki had supported Sloan's desire to get to the truth out about Victor Lord, and in doing so, Sloan had discovered that Victor Lord was not the upstanding man he'd originally thought he was. This caused some friction between Sloan and Viki after she read the book for the first time, but she realized that Sloan was only telling the truth about her father. The only problem was that neither of them knew that this "truth" was only the tip of the iceberg and there was so much that would be eventually be uncovered about Victor's life and death.

Fate continued to throw Viki and Sloan together and their growing desire for each other was now a constant presence whenever they saw each other. Their attraction to each other became undeniable during the time that Andrew was helping Billy Douglas. Billy was a friend of Joey's and he was trying to sort out his feelings, since he'd recently realized that he was gay. Andrew's counseling of him upset the St. James congregation immensely and caused a giant rift in the community because of allegations made by Marty Saybrooke. Marty was in love with Andrew, and she had started a vicious rumor about Andrew and Billy when Andrew rejected her advances. Andrew struggled with many of the parishioner's prejudices and homophobia, including Clint Buchanan's. Sloan came to Andrew's defense and this eventually led him to be able to finally accept William's sexuality. Once he was past that hurdle, Viki helped him realize that he could forgive himself for the mistakes he'd made with William. Sloan had shown that he could change, while Clint grew more bigoted and intractable every day.

"The AIDS quilt was a very moving story," shares Slezak of the storyline surrounding Billy's announcement that he was gay. "When we actually saw the quilt, boy, it changed everything. We were in New Jersey, outside this magnificent church and they had a big chunk of it spread out on the lawn. Some of the names - like Ryan White - you know. It was just so touching because a lot of people have been affected by AIDS in this business. It just breaks your heart."

In one of the most moving events to impact Llanview, the AIDS quilt came to their town and Andrew and Sloan finally reconciled at its dramatic public ceremony. Afterwards, feeling cleansed of guilt and not being able to hide his feelings for Viki any longer, Sloan declared his deep love for Viki and they shared a wonderful, passionate kiss. This scared Viki and she pushed Sloan away, and tried to make another go of her marriage to Clint. But as much as Sloan was opening up to her and becoming the man she knew he could be, was how much Clint was shutting down to her and becoming a man she couldn't love or respect anymore. But regardless of Clint, Viki's love for Sloan became too powerful to fight any longer and she finally gave into her feelings in the Llanview Library one afternoon. "Love among the old tomes," was a pivotal point in their relationship as the former prim and proper Victoria Lord, abandoned all inhibitions and conventions and let herself openly neck with Sloan in the poetry section.

Andrew helps dad Sloan
get past his bigotry.

Though they wanted each other desperately, Viki still fought to save her marriage because she thought it was the "right" thing to do. Things came to a head though when Clint went to Sloan's house and viciously attacked him. Viki found them and tried to stop Clint and in the heat of the moment, he raised his hand to strike her. He stopped just in time and realized what he'd almost done, but that was too late for Viki. The thought that her husband was so hate filled and so out of control that he'd even think of hurting her was too much and she moved out of Llanfair and into the Palace Hotel. She agonized over what to do and then finally, after trying one last time to talk to Clint, did what her heart told her to, and she went to Vermont to be with Sloan.

They went to a ski lodge and had a wonderful time just being together and away from the prying eyes of Llanview. (Or so they thought.) Sloan was loving, gentle and patient with her, and Viki finally felt free enough to give into the deeply sensual and erotic feelings she had for Sloan. After sharing their hearts with each other, they made love on a dark and snowy night.

"I liked the story with Sloan," laments Slezak. "I'm sorry that had to end."

Their euphoria was short-lived however because Dorian, who was a guest at the lodge, had phoned Clint and told him that Viki had broken her leg and needed him. Feeling guilty about his cruel words to Viki before she left, Clint went to Vermont to see her. He found Viki with Sloan and he railed at her for her infidelity, despite his own involvement with Lindsay Butler. Seeing his pain, Viki let her guilt get the best of her and she and Sloan went back to Llanview to face everyone.

After a lot of soul searching and recriminations between her and Clint, Viki realized that things had gone too far and that she was too deeply in love with Sloan to ever go back to Clint, so they began divorce proceedings. Soon after this, Clint was hurt in a plane crash and had to stay in Arizona to recuperate, so Viki had to face Kevin's rape trial by herself. (Marty Saybrooke had been gang-raped by Todd and two fraternity brothers, Powell and Zach. She mistakenly thought that Kevin was involved and accused him. But Kevin was innocent.) Sloan stood by her and supported Kevin and her through this ordeal. This bonded them forever and also helped Viki's children finally accept Sloan as the man their mother truly loved.

Soon after the trial Viki and Sloan went to his beach front home in Tidewater, Maryland. One evening on the front porch, Sloan touchingly proposed to Viki while an old Victrola played music in the background. She joyfully accepted and they eagerly made plans to be married as soon as Viki's divorce was final.

Dorian Lord threw a wrench into their plans when she used Emily Haynes, a very dense and gullible student of Sloan's at Llanview University, where he subsequently became its president, as her pawn in a scheme to ruin Sloan. Dorian persuaded Emily to file bogus sexual harassment charges against Sloan and the University was forced to investigate. No one really believed this though and Dorian's part in the scam was soon exposed.

Realizing that Dorian would never leave them alone, Viki and Sloan decided to try to get to the truth about Dorian's part Victor Lord's death. They began investigating his death with information that was touched upon in Sloan's book. Because of new evidence, Dorian was put on trial for Victor's death and was found guilty. Viki had wanted Dorian to pay for killing her father, but even she was horrified when the judge sentenced Dorian to death for the crime. After sitting on death row for a time, Dorian paid David Vickers to forge part of Irene Manning's diary in a desperate attempt to free herself from prison. The ruse worked and once free, Dorian wasted no time in trying to pay Viki back. She seduced Viki's youngest son Joey and made sure that Viki found out about their affair, (ultimately, due to Dorian's machinations, Viki caught her deflowering Joey on the day Viki and Sloan had originally planned to be wed). This hurt Viki as much as Dorian hoped it would. Unfortunately Viki was already dealing with Sloan's apparent abandonment of her, so this was doubly painful.

Sloan had learned that his Hodgkin's disease was out of remission and that he was dying. He didn't want Viki to suffer through his death the way she had suffered through her first husband Joe Riley's death, so he had lied to her and told her that he didn't love her anymore. He had gone back to his home in Tidewater, where he underwent unsuccessful chemo treatment by himself, and pretended that he was in love with an old friend of his, Beverly Crane. Sloan had confided in Clint the truth about his illness though and Clint told Viki about it. She then went to Sloan, they reconciled immediately and vowed to spend whatever time they had, together.

Despite his failing health, Viki very much wanted to be his wife and with Andrew presiding over their ceremony, they were wed even though Sloan was in the hospital. Viki insisted that Sloan be brought back to Llanfair so that he would be as comfortable as possible. Sloan held on as long as he could, savoring every moment with his new wife, but Viki, seeing his pain and suffering, told him that he could let go.

After telling her one final time that he loved her, Sloan died in her arms in their bedroom at Llanfair. With a heartbroken Viki Carpenter watching, Sloan was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. It was a tragic end to a beautiful love story, but both Viki and Sloan were enriched by each other's presence in their lives, short-lived though it may have been.

Below is the poem Viki read to Sloan as he lay dying in one of the most gut wrenching and sorrowfilled scenes in their tragic love affair.

The Good-Morrow
By John Donne

I WONDER by my troth, what thou, and I
Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then?
But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?
T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desir'd, and got, t'was but a dreame of thee.
And now good morrow to our waking soules,
Which watch not one another out of feare;
For love, all love of other sights controules,
And makes one little roome, an every where.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
Where can we finde two better hemispheares
Without sharpe North, without declining West?
What ever dyes, was not mixt equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

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