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All readers should know that books by our author Cloud should, for best reading, start with Book 1, The Way Back, followed by The Shadows Fall, Battle the Dark, and the fourth book, The Fourth Life. They do build on each other. The Way Back is the initial book in the series, and begins with The Vickerman Premier from OLTL (of course, written with this author's point of view.) Cloud has also completed her 5th Book, The End of Blame, her 6th novel, Diamond in the Rough and her 7th book in the series, Hope from the Ocean. The 8th in the series, Failings of the Fathers, is currently being shared one chapter at a time, every Thursday and Sunday. There are also more to come after this!

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In addition to these, Author Monica_Ann currently completed Dance with the Devil that takes place in Port Charles and has also shared her next book, The Devil You Know, also taking place in Port Charles. Enjoying her next project, Brothers, currently in progress!

Maria, one of our newer authors, just completed Spidey Sam, where Todd, Sam, and Jack have adventures that don't necessarily warrant approval from Blair.

We're VERY excited to promote another author by the name of Cimz. This very popular fanfic writer has posted a novella called R.E.M. It's very exciting to see our fanfic offerings grow!

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Failings of the Fathers: 54

"I saw him move, Sister, I did."  Tina said in desperation.  

It was almost ten thirty in the evening, and Sister Rebecca Katherine was becoming tired.  She knew the same had to be true for Tina.


"Dear, perhaps we need to rest, both of us. It's been a long day."


"No, stop it!"  She pulled away from the nun's soft grip on her arm.  "I'm . . . I'm sorry, but I saw him move.  His hand twitched, like this."  She demonstrated.


The nun watched her, and said, "All right, if he did move, what does that mean, Dearest?"


"I don't know, maybe he's waking up."


"I'll get the doctor, and we can ask."


"But I saw him."


"I know, but shouldn't we ask, just so we know?"


Tina became quiet.  "Yes.  Yes, I suppose we should ask."


The nun disappeared into the hallway, and came back a few minutes later.  "The doctor is coming in shortly."


"Good."  She went to the side of the bed.  "Aiden, I saw you move.  Please, wake up.  Come back to me, to everyone."


Nothing changed.


Tina sat in the chair by his bed, and bent her head into her hands.  The nun realized how much the stress was straining Tina, and sat beside her.  "It's a tough situation, eh?  Very hard for ya."


She nodded.


"It will be God's will, Dear."


"I know," she said, softly.  A doctor appeared at the door, and made his way into the room.  


"Sister, I believe you called for me?"  he said, looking at her uniform.


"Yes, I did."


"What is it?"


"He moved," Tina blurted.  "I saw him twitch, his hand."


"Let me examine him, please," the doctor said, and Tina moved away.  She and the nun stood close together, almost huddling.


"You saw an involuntary response.  I'm sorry, he's not showing anything different than before.  All his vitals and brain activity are the same."


"Wait, please?  He's not coming out of it?"  Tina's desperation was heartbreaking.


"Not at this time," he said, and touched her arm as he walked past.  He went out the door, and Tina said, "That's it.  We have to get him to the states."


"Tina, Dear, I don't think that will change a thing,"  the nun assured her, softly.


"It might.  We can get the best doctors.  Todd will pay."


"Todd is paying, for the best.  Ya know that."


She stopped, and slumped into the chair.  "It's not fair, it just seemed, like maybe . . ."


The nun sat beside her.  "I know, I do.  I thought the same for a moment.  But it's just not that way.  Not now."  Tina leaned against her, and the nun petted her hair, repeating, "Just not now," softly.


***


Timothy made his way to his suite, and as he approached the door, Todd was coming the opposite way, toward him, with a takeout food bag.


"What happened to the pub here?"  Timothy said.


"I felt like Chinese.  Makes me think of Blair."


"Ah," Timothy said, as Todd handed the older man his room key, and the door was opened.  They made their way inside, and Todd put the food onto the table. 


"I ordered more than enough, in case you change your mind."


"I've got doubts on that, but that was kind of ya."


"What made you decide against staying in the hot tub?"


"I missed ya, I suppose."


"Okay," Todd smiled, sitting down.  He dished up some of the Chinese food, and started to eat.  


Timothy sat across from him.  "Ya eat like ya never ate."


"I know, everyone says that.  I was worse before.  Way back, like, in the older days, I didn't always have good table manners."


"In the older days?"  Timothy said.


"Well, whenever.  Not sure why, but it's just the way it is.  Comes and goes."  He shoveled a bit more into his mouth.


"I am glad y'ar here."  Timothy said.


Todd stopped chewing a minute, and then went back to it, slower.  He knew this was a door opening to emotion, and he wasn't sure he was up to it that night.  He said, "Thanks."


"I know y'ar having trouble with all this, just not saying so."


"What trouble?"


"Dealing with the feelings, the sadness.  It harkens to y'ar own pain and gets y'ar PTSD going."


Todd didn't respond.  Instead, he chewed more and worked at his eating.


Timothy kept going.  "Todd, ya know, ya've had a very hard childhood, a stressful life.  It is normal for a person who has been through all of that to avoid emotional scenes."


"Is that what I'm doing?"


"I believe ya are, but I'm not criticizing ya for it.  It's understandable.  Ya've faced so much over y'ar life."


"Not so much."


"Todd," Timothy said, and put his hand on his son's forearm. 


Todd looked at it and then up to his father's face.  "It's . . .  strange, sometimes."


"What do ya mean?"


"It's strange to have someone touch me, who I consider a father figure, without violence or malice behind it."


Timothy sat back in his chair, and sighed.  "Son."


"I know I'm not much for emotional stuff," he started, "but you adopting me, it meant . . . a lot of things.  I'm still working at accepting it, and I'm still working at this touch stuff.  Especially with people other than my kids and Blair."


"That makes sense.  And, y'ar doing fine."


"I feel . . . like I'm not human, sometimes.  I feel like I have to learn humanity, from the ground up.  It's . . . something that makes me feel . . . raw."


"I'm sorry that's true.  It shouldn't be that way, but we can't change it."


"No, only time can, I think.  But I'm trying," he looked at his father, and couldn't mask the emotion in his eyes.


"Ya are.  And I love ya, don't forget that.  I can't make up for what Peter Manning did, but I can sure do what I know is right for my boys."  Todd swallowed, and turned his face down.  Timothy did not waste time; he got up and went and embraced his son.  Slapping his back, strongly, he returned to his chair and said, "Now, pass me some of that Chinese crap."


***


"Ray, what are you saying?  Are you saying someone came in here, in broad daylight, and kidnapped a catatonic woman?"  Blair's ire was rising.


"No, I'm not saying that at all, Blair.  I'm saying she's run off."


"She came out of it, and no one notified us?"


"No, not that either.  She came out of it, like I've told you.  She was sleepwalking up to Sister's room.  Maybe she sleepwalked away."


"That's crazy."


"Blair, believe me, when dealing with the human mind, nothing is crazy except thinking things aren't possible."


Blair thought of calling Todd, and then stopped herself, thinking it would be better, with all he was going through in Switzerland, to call after Bitsy had been found, safe and sound.  She said, "Well, where have you looked?"


"Me personally, or the staff?"


"Both."


"The nun's quarters, the cafeteria, my office, the solarium, her room, in janitorial closets on every floor."


"Outside?"


"How would she get by everyone?"


"Ray, you just told me that nothing is crazy except thinking things aren't possible."  For a moment, she had a terrible thought.  "Is there access to the roof here?"


"I worried about the same thing.  The sparrows.  No, she can't get up there, and we did check.  No one up there and no one on the ground around the building."


"Then where the Hell is she?"  Blair was losing control.  She didn't want to tell Todd his mother was missing.  Not now.


"I don't know."


"Is there a chapel here?"


"We checked it."


"God," she said, wringing her hands.  "I'm going outside to look for her.  She has to be around somewhere.  What time did she go missing?"


"An hour ago."


"An hour?  She could have gotten pretty far in an hour!"


"Let's stay calm."


"You stay calm, I'm going to find my husband's mother," Blair said, going past him up to Bitsy's room.  She went through the things on her desk, which didn't seem touched much, and then opened the drawers.  Then, she spied Todd's portfolio he bought for her, and opened it.  Several drawings were on top that Blair had never seen.  All of them were of Peter Manning.  She covered her mouth.  "My God.  She still thinks he's alive.  She's afraid.  Look at this one," she said, showing him a landscape of the lake outside Mountainview.  "She was drawing this.  Maybe she's out there," she pointed to the window.


"Let's go and see," he said, leading the way.


Blair followed.  She wanted Bitsy to be anywhere they could find her.  She wanted her safe and in her room, so that Todd could rest assured about her.  She just wanted her to be okay.


Outside, they scoured the immediate grounds.  There was no sign of her, and she wasn't seen by anyone on staff.  The patio, the picnic areas, and parking lot were all clear of Bitsy.  Blair said, "The lake.  She once drew Todd, by a lake.  Maybe it had . . . yes, of course, the cottage that she had in New York.  It was by a river, or something.  Maybe by this lake, then."


They trudged through the muddy grass, and walked toward the lake.  One side of it was in clear view of the building; the other was not, and was obscured by trees.  Blair forced herself to go forward, even though her shoes were sinking in the muck, and Ray could barely keep up.  Just then, she stopped and pulled her phone out.  She texted Starr:
 I'm going to be later than I thought.  I'll explain later.

When Starr received the message, she thought nothing of it.  She just turned to Jewel, "I guess Mom's not going to be home when she said.  It means I will just have more time with you little ones."


From around the side of the house, Calvin overheard this, and smiled to himself.


*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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