1998: Dorian’s escalating tensions with Melinda and the exploration of her family history took her out of town, and Kelly tried to be there for her beloved aunt. Ian flew out to help Kelly — but his plane crashed and he died, leaving his fortune to Kelly. Drew returned, a new man dedicated to the cause of good, and became a cop. He and Kelly picked up again, this time sans manipulation and scheming. Unfortunately, he was shot and killed — and Kelly began to wonder if she was destined to have a real, lasting love. To distract herself, she helped Kevin escort his new bride, Cassie, out of the country and to a Swiss asylum. Todd’s abrupt departure meant that Kelly was suddenly left 49 percent of the The Sun, and she took over the paper as editor-in-chief.
1999: Kelly and Blair clashed frequently over the running of the paper, so Kelly finally fired her cousin. She also moved out of Dorian’s and picked up with Max in a sudden, lust-filled affair. Joey tried to warn Kelly that Max was no good — and Max proved it by trying to marry her for her money. She left him at the altar and ran back to Joey again. Unfortunately, in the meantime he’d attracted the attention of a strong-willed troublemaker, Sophia, with whom he’d slept one night. Kelly was furious when she learned the truth, but got over it and did her best to stick with him, despite Sophia’s continual intrusions (she got a job as Dorian’s personal assistant and lived in the mansion for a time, for example).Then, Kelly got an obsessive stalker herself: Sun employee Brian, who read a little too much into it when she defended him to Joey and Bo and began sending her letters signed “The Lonely Heart.” Around town, women began to be attacked by a man with a heart tattoo on his wrist, and pretty soon Brian was revealed as the rapist — but not before he snatched Kelly and dragged her to the Buchanan lodge. Once there, she tripped the alarm, and the cops came. During the standoff, Joey sneaked inside the cabin and was shot by Brian. The cops overpowered the miscreant, and he was arrested.
Just as Joey and Kelly seemed to be getting back on track, however, problems came from another area. Joey’s brother, Kevin, had been drinking heavily since his fiance, Grace (Kelly’s former school chum), had drowned. Kelly took pity on him and tried to help. Joey saw a problem emerging — but knew no way to stop it, so at Christmas, he proposed. Kelly accepted. But on New Year’s Eve, Sophia succeeded in her scheme to keep the lovers apart, and Kelly ended up drinking with Kevin. He broke down over Grace … and the two kissed passionately, nearly having sex in the bargain.2000: Kevin and Kelly kept their burgeoning attraction from Joey, and once the Buchanans’ mother, Viki, told them she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, Joey and Kelly eloped. But circumstances conspired to keep Kelly and Kevin close — they were working on a scheme to bring down Asa because Kevin blamed his grandfather for Grace’s death. Kelly tried to make her marriage to Joey work, even attempting to get pregnant, but when that failed, she finally admitted to Joey that she had feelings for Kevin. Heartbroken, Joey agreed to a divorce.
But Kelly was in danger: She’d seen the man who tried to kill Ben, and both Buchanan brothers moved in with her to keep her safe. (Bad idea.) Joey dragged his feet on the divorce, actually stalling it for a long time. Ben’s hit man, Charlie, went after Kelly, and finally Kevin and Joey saved her from this threat.2001: Joey left for London, the divorce came through and Kelly and Kevin were free. Shortly thereafter, Kevin learned that his son, Duke, was having trouble in Texas, and the new couple moved to the Lone Star State, where they got married. Kelly appeared in Llanview twice over the following year — once at Blair and Todd’s December, 2001, wedding, and again in early January, 2003 — but was otherwise with her husband.
2003: Kevin returned to town with a major agenda, and Kelly followed soon after. However, there’s clearly trouble in paradise (Kelly lamented that Kevin started hanging around with Asa’s “oil buddies” and their fun-loving lifestyle changed thereafter), and Kevin is playing games — with Blair, with The Sun and possibly with Kelly — as he prepares to take political office.